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The MeT>^ALLIC: 

By G. F. Hill 


Medal in the British Museum. Busts of Christ and St. Paul. 





By G. F. hill 




Oxford University Press 
London Edinburgh Glasgow New York 

Toronto Melbourne Cape Town Bombay 
Humphrey Milford Publisher to the University 


OF the essays included in this volume, those which deal 
with the Medallic Portraits of Christ and False Shekels 
were originally published in the Reliquary and Illustrated 
Archaeologist in 1902, 1904, and 1905. Constant inquiries con- 
cerning these subjects are addressed to the British Museum and 
doubtless to other similar institutions. It seemed, therefore, 
worth while to place on record what is known about them ; 
not so much, it must be confessed, in the hope of dissipating 
certain picturesque superstitions, which continue to show every 
sign of a long and happy life ; but rather to make it easier for 
scholars to answer the inquiries addressed to them. At the same 
time, some few of those who are curious in such matters are 
interested to learn the truth ; others are occasionally convinced 
by the printed word where the mere assurance of a Museum 
official would be received with passionate incredulity. The 
research, once undertaken, proved to have attractions of its own, 
although the portion concerned with the medals of the later 
sixteenth century has been worked out more from a sense of duty 
than because of any interest in the banal types produced in that 
period ; and the whole is, I fear, anything but easy reading. 

The essay on the Thirty Pieces of Silver, being more or less 
akin to the others, seemed not unfitting to accompany them. It 
was read before the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1904, 
and printed in Archaeologia, vol. lix. 

I am indebted to Messrs. George Allen & Co., the present 
proprietors of the Reliquary, and to the Council of the Society 
of Antiquaries, for their kind permission to republish the essays, 
which have been revised and in great part rewritten in the light 
of more recent investigation. My thanks are also due to the 
Directors of foreign museums and to the private collectors, by 
whose courtesy I am able to publish illustrations of a number 
of pieces not represented in the British Museum ; and to my 
colleague Mr. O. M. Dalton, who has been so good as to read the 
proofs and make various useful suggestions. 

G. F. HILL. 

British Museum, 
March, 1920. 



Godfrey of Viterbo 



Frontispiece. Medal in the British Museum. Busts of Christ and St. Paul . 2 

1. Medal by Matteo de' Pasti. Collection of Mr. Henry Oppenheimer . 10 

2. Sketch for Medal of Christ in the Recueil Vallardi. From Heiss, Med. 

de la Renaissance . . . . . . . . . .11 

3. Repousse medallion. Victoria and Albert Museum .... 12 
4 a and h. Medal in the Collection of the late Don Pablo Bosch {rev. Inscrip- 
tion) . 13, 14 

5. Plaquette in the British Museum . . . . . . -15 

6. Detail from altar-piece by Montagna. Brera . . . . .16 

7. Medal at Berlin {rev. Inscription) . . . . . . .18 

8. Medal at Berhn 19 

9. Medal in the Victoria and Albert Museum ...... 20 

10. Medal in the Ashmolean Museum {rev. Inscription) . . . .21 

11. Medal in the British Museum. Bust of St. Paul ..... 22 

12. Medal in the British Museum {rev. Bust of a monk) . . . -23 

13. Medal in the British Museum {rev. Inscription) . . . . .24 

14. Medal in the Collection of Mr. Henry Oppenheimer. Bust of St. Paul 

{rev. Inscription) ........ 

15. Stone Relief at Poitiers. From Gaffre, Portraits du Christ 

16. German engraving at Dresden ...... 

17. Engraving by Hans Burgkmair ...... 

18. German woodcut of 1538 ....... 

19. Panel portrait of Christ. Berlin Gallery. School of Jan van Eyck 

20. Tile with Head of St. John Baptist. British Museum . 

21. Miniature in the Trivulzio Collection, Milan 

22. Medal in the Collection of Mr. Maurice Rosenheim {rev. Trigram of Jesus 

23. Reverse of Medal in the British Museum (Pieta) .... 

24. Illustration from Rouille, Promptuaire des Medailles 

25. Medal in the possession of Dr. Thomas Henderson {rev. Hebrew Inscrip 

tion) ........... 

26. Three varieties of the ' Hebrew Medal '..... 

27. Medal formerly in the Murdoch Collection {rev. Hebrew Inscription) 

28. Medal in the British Museum {rev. Hebrew Inscription) . 

29. Medal by G. A. de' Rossi in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris {rev. Adora 

tion of the Magi) .... 

30. Medal in the British Museum {rev. Calvary) 

31. Medal in the British Museum {rev. Calvary) 

32. Medal in the British Museum 

33. Crystal intaglio in the British Museum 

34. Medal at BerUn {rev. Bust of the Virgin) 

35. Medal in the British Museum by Giovanni dal Cavino {rev. Crucifixion) 63 

36. Medal by Cavino, from modern impressions made from the old dies {rev 

Trinity) .......... 

37. Medal by Cavino (?) in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris {rev. Trans 

figuration) ........... 65 















38. Medal in the Collection of Mr. Maurice Rosenheim {rev. Christ standing) 66 

39. Jubilee medal of 1550 {rev. Porta Santa) in the British Museum . . 66 

40. Restored medal of Paul IV in the British Museum .... 67 

41. Medal by Antonio Abondio in the British Museum {rev. Christ as Man of 

Sorrows) ........... 68 

42. Medal in the British Museum {rev. the Fall) . , . . .68 

43. Pendant by Gaspare Mola in the British Museum {rev. Bust of the Virgin) 69 

44. Medal (with obverse by Flotner) in the Berlin Museum . . -71 

45. Medal by Hagenauer in the British Museum {obv. Bust of Count Thomas 

of Rheineck) .......... 72 

46. Medal (Viennese) in the British Museum ...... 73 

47. Medal of 1549 in the Collection of Mr. Maurice Rosenheim {rev. Agnus 

Dei) . . . .74 

48. Medal of 155 1 in the Collection of Mr. Maurice Rosenheim {rev. Agnus 

Dei) . 74 

49. Medal in the British Museum {rev. Agnus Dei) ..... 74 

50. Medal at Munich {rev. Arms of Johann Schmauser, Abbot of Ebersberg) 75 

51. Medal at Munich {rev. Arms of Johann Schmauser, Abbot of Ebersberg) 76 

52. Medal by Valentin Maler in the British Museum {rev. The Church between 

Poverty and Gratitude) ......... 77 

53. Medal by Valentin Maler in the Victoria and Albert Museum {rev. Christ 

supporting the Cross) ......... 77 

54. Genuine Jewish Shekels and Half-shekels of the First Revolt (British 

Museum) ........... 79 

55. Genuine Jewish Shekel of the Second Revolt (British Museum) . . 80 

56. Becker's forgery of the Shekel of the First Revolt (British Museum) . 81 

57. The ' Censer Shekel ' (British Museum) . . . . . .82 

58. Waser's illustration of the Half- Shekel ...... 84 

59. Waser's illustration of the One-third-Shekel ...... 84 

60. Censer Shekel from Villalpandus ....... 85 

61. Shekel from Postel . . . . . . . . . -87 

62. Variety of the Censer Shekel in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris . . 88 

63. Silver Coins of Rhodes, fifth to fourth century B.C. (British Museum) . 105 

64. Medal of Judas Iscariot and Rhodian Coin, from Rouille . . .110 

65. Fifteenth-century reproduction of a Rhodian Coin, in the Bibliotheque 

Nationale, Paris . . . . . . . . . .114 

66. Stater of Tyre (British Museum) . . . . . . • 115 

67. Stater of Antioch (British Museum) . . . . . . • 1^5 

68. Denarius of Tiberius (British Museum) . . . . , • 115 




I. The Fifteenth Century 

'Q (fyiXraTrj npoa 0-^19, (o TroOov/jtepr) 
apaioTTjg app7jT09 virep irau yepos, 
elKcoi' aypa(p09 a.ypa(l)ov p.op(P(s3ixaT09. — Christus Pattern. 

THE question of the artistic development of the portrait of 
Christ, in itself sufficiently intricate, has been so much 
complicated by contributions from writers more remark- 
able for their piety than for their sense of evidence, that it is 
necessary to apologize for attacking it once more. My excuse 
must be that I propose practically to limit myself to the medallic 
portraits of the Renaissance, only incidentally dealing with earlier 
representations, and to ignore altogether, as a matter which can 
hardly be proved one way or the other, the question whether the 
numerous portraits bear any resemblance to the actual counte- 
nance of Christ. There is, I take it, no doubt that nearly all later 
representations have been much influenced by the various literary 
descriptions ^ of Christ, of which the earliest seems to be that 
given by John of Damascus, who died about 754.- Better known 
is the famous letter supposed to have been written by Publius 
Lentulus to the Roman Senate.^ A third description is given 

^ Cf. F. X. Kraus, Gesch. der christ- in a tract headed, ' Ex gestis Anselmi 

lichen Kunst, i, p. 177. coUiguntur forma et mores beatae Mariae 

- Epist. ad Theophilum, c. 3 (Migne," et eius unici filii lesu ', on the last page 

Patrol., Ser. Gr., vol. 95, p. 350). of an undated edition (end of fifteenth 

^ See J. P. Gabler, Kleinere theolog. century) of St. Anselm's Opuscula ; but 
Schriften (Ulm, 183 1), ii, pp. 628 f. it is not acknowledged among his genuine 
Gabler comes to the conclusion that the works. The current assumption, there- 
letter was concocted by some monk of fore, that it goes back to Anselm's time 
the thirteenth or fourteenth century, is unfounded. I have not been able to 
It appears for the first time in print, trace any manuscript containing it earlier 
although not under the name of Lentulus, than the fourteenth century. 

1715 . B 


by Nicephorus Callisti (XanthopouUos), who died about 

John of Damascus describes Christ as having meeting eye- 
brows, fine eyes, long nose, curly hair, stooping shoulders, fresh 
complexion, black beard, and a skin the colour of wheat, as well 
as other characteristics which do not concern us here. Nicephorus 
agre.e&'in most particulars with John, adding that his hair was 

Fig. I. — Medal by Matteo de' Pasti. Collection of Mr. Henry Oppenheimer. 

golden, not very thick, inclining to curliness ; eyebrows black, 
not much curved ; beautiful eyes, bright and inclined to brown ; 
long nose ; beard golden, and not very long ; hair of the head 
long ; attitude somewhat stooping ; complexion wheat-coloured ; 
face not round but rather pointed below, and slightly rubicund. 
The letter of Lentulus describes his hair as nut-brown, smooth 
to the ears, curling on the shoulders, parted in the middle ; his 
forehead smooth and serene ; his face without wrinkle or blemish, 
slightly rubicund ; nose and teeth good ; full beard, like his hair, 
not long, but forked in the middle, &c., &c. 

1 Hist. Eccl. i. 40 (Migne, vol. 145, p. 748). 



The head of Christ first makes its appearance on coins in 
the reign of Justinian II (a.d. 685-95).^ He is represented with 
long flowing hair, moustache and beard, and a cross behind 
the head. It is a full-face representation, such as was only to 
be expected at the time, when it is quite the exception to find 
a profile portrait on a coin. The facing bearded bust of Christ, 
with various modifications, continues in use in Byzantium down 

Fig. 2. — Sketch for Medal of Christ in the Recueil Vallardi. 

Frmn Heiss, Med. de la Ren. 

to the very end of the coinage in 1448. The beardless bust, also 
facing, does not appear until the reign of Manuel I (a.d. i 143-80).^ 
These facing types had no influence whatever on the Renaissance 
attempts at portraying the Saviour, which, so far as medals are 
concerned, are invariably in profile, usually to the left. The busts 
of Christ on the coins, in fact, are merely examples, on a small 
scale, of the orthodox Byzantine iconography of Christ, which 
Italian art discarded as soon as it felt able to do so. 

1 W. Wroth, Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum 
(1908), ii, p. 331, nos. II ff. ^ W. Wroth, op. cit., ii, p. 566. 



The medals with which I propose to deal may be divided 
roughly into two classes, corresponding to the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries. 

The earliest of which we have any knowledge (fig. i) is the 
work of the medallist Matteo de' Pasti of Verona, Pisanello's most 
distinguished pupil .^ His various medals of Sigismondo Pandolfo 
Malatesta and Isotta Atti bear dates from 1446 to 1457, and it is 
improbable that the medal with the head of Christ is much later 

than 1460. Its description is as 
follows : 




Christ 1., with plain circular 
nimbus seen in perspective ; the 
hair is brushed back from the 
forehead and falls in curls on 
the shoulders ; beard full, but 
not forked or long ; moustache 
full ; whiskers slightly curly. He 
wears a vest and cloak. 


PASTI I ■ VERONENSis • The dead 
Christ, seen in half-figure in his 
tomb ; his head supported by 

a putto ; on the left, another putto, weeping, with hands uplifted ; 

behind, the cross. 

Bronze, 93 mm. Stops in the legends, inverted triangles. 

The obverse of this medal bears considerable resemblance 
to a drawing in the Recueil Vallardi in the Louvre. The majority 
of the drawings in this album are from the hand of Pisanello 
himself ; but to any one acquainted with the work of that master, 
it is clear that this particular design, which I reproduce here 
(fig. 2) after Heiss (p. 28), is not from his hand. The treatment of 
the hair and beard differs from that on the medal : the bust has 


-Repousse Medallion in Victoria 
and Albert Museum. 

1 See especially A. Heiss, Les Medail- 
leurs de la Renaissance : Leon-Baptiste 
Alberti, Matteo de' Pasti, &c. (Rothschild, 
Paris, 1883). M. Gustave Dreyfus's 
specimen of the medal of Christ is 
illustrated on pi. iii, 3, and described on 

p. 26. I have to thank the pubHsher for 
permitting me to reproduce the sketch 
in fig. 2 from this work. The specimen 
here reproduced (fig. i) by kind permis- 
sion of Mr. Henry Oppenheimer, is 
without a reverse. 


no nimbus, and is turned to the right instead of to the left. It is, 
if anything, weaker in expression than the medaUic head, which 
itself is quite the poorest of Fasti's productions. On the whole, 
we are justified in supposing that the drawing is a design by 
Pasti himself for his medal. 

This work exercised comparatively little effect on the develop- 
ment of the medallic portraits of Christ. Its influence may, 
however, be traced in a repousse silver medallion of the late 
fifteenth century in the Victoria and Albert Museum (fig. 3). 
This represents a head of Christ to 1. with a cruciferous nimbus. 
The type is refined but weak, with a fairly long pointed beard, 
and long hair, a lock being brushed back from the forehead over 
the temple. The area of the nimbus is raised above the rest of 
the field ; its circle is of cable pattern. A metrical inscription 
in letters of late Gothic style runs round the bust : viva • dei ■ 
FACIES ■ ET ■ SALVATORis ■ IMAGO ■ Diameter, 63 mm. 

In the collection of the late Don Pablo Bosch of Madrid 
is a large medal (fig. 4 a, b) which belongs to the same group : 

Ohv. — Bust of Christ to 1., draped, otherwise as on fig. 3 ; 
across the field -in- • r • i • ; around, + respice • in • faciem • 


foils as stops, where visible). 

Rev. — Incised inscription : + | venite • adme : om | nes • 



Bronze gilt, 113 mm.^ The lettering, especially on the reverse of this medal, is 
finely decorative, in the monumental style of about 1475. That is the time to which 
we may assign the origin of the medal, approximately. A specimen (obverse only), 
recently presented to the British Museum by Mr. E. G. Millar, shows the signature 
PHI LIP I OPVS incised on the truncation of the bust. 

The same type also occurs on a well-known baiser de paix^^ 
of which the specimen in the Plaquette Room of the British 
Museum is illustrated here (fig. 5 , 89 by 66 mm.). Christ is repre- 
sented in profile to 1., with cruciferous nimbus ; at the sides of the 
head, the letters 1 • N R • 1 ; above, the Holy Spirit between Sun 
and Moon. Molinier dates the piece to the end of the fifteenth 

1 I have to thank the late owner for BerHn (Ital, Bronzes, 1305). M. Valton 
the photographs from which the illustra- possessed a variety, now presumably in 
tions in the text are made. the Paris Cabinet, without the symbols 

2 MoUnier, Les Plaquettes, ii, p. 73, above, and with INRI on a label below, 
no. 461. Other specimens in the British Cf. Armand, Les Medailleurs italiens, iii, 
Museum, at South Kensington, and at p. 149 C 



century. The way in which the bust is cut off is characteristic. 
The same type (apart from accessories) is exactly reproduced 
on a lead medallion (diameter, loo mm.) found in the cemetery 
of Sainte-Livrade (Lot-et-Garonne).i The bust is flanked by 
the letters i N, and the field of the medaUion decorated with 

Fig. 4 a. — Medal in the Collection of the late Don Pablo Bosch, Obverse. 

incised ornaments. On the reverse is a Hebrew inscription, to 
which we shall return when dealing with the medals of the 
sixteenth century. M. de la Tour^ thinks that this medallion 
is as late as the seventeenth century, and the work of an Italian 
artist. Although it reproduces a fifteenth-century type, there 

1 Published by M. G. Tholin, Bull, de la Soc. Nat. des Antiquaires de France, 
1898, pp. 276 f. 2 Bulletin de la Soc. Nat., p. 281. 



is, I think, no doubt that it cannot be earlier than the second half 
of the sixteenth century. 

It is interesting to note that Fasti's medal, or something 
very like it, was known to the painter Bartolommeo Montagna. 
In his altar-piece in the Brera, dated 1499, and representing the 

Fig. 4 h. — Medal in the Collection of the late Don Pablo Bosch. Reverse. 

Madonna and four saints ,1 he has introduced two decorative 
medallions, of which one (fig. 6) seems to me to be suggested by 
the type of Fasti's medal. The medalHons which are used thus 
by many painters from the second half of the fifteenth century 
onwards to decorate their architecture are not often, I believe, 
derived from modern medals, although, as in the case of actual 

^ T. Borenius, The Painters of Vicenza, p. 44. 



architecture of the time, the influence of Roman coins is strong. 
But a careful examination of ItaHan paintings from this point 
of view might reveal some interesting features. 

We now come to a much more important group of medals.^ 
The chief peculiarities of the type of Christ on these medals are 
the retreating forehead, the thick fleshy nose and lips, the 
moustache which leaves the upper lip almost bare, starting from 

the wing of the nose, the short 
forked beard, the cruciferous 
nimbus with circles in the 
arms of the cross. The ob- 
verse inscription is, in one 
form or another, YHS XPC 


a. (Fig. 7). — )?HS in in- 
scription ; stops, lozenges ; 
moustache on front of upper 
lip indicated ; field slightly 
sunk. Rev. — In wreath, in- 
scription in fifteen lines : 


SIMILI I tvdinemdominmheI 


Fig. 5. — Plaquette in British Museum. 

^ I may note, in passing, that all the 
medals of Christ of the fifteenth and 
earlier sixteenth centuries are un- 
doubtedly cast, not struck. M. de Mely 
speaks [Gaz. des Beaux- Arts, 1898, 
tome xix, p. 490) as if some of them were 
struck. In view of the misapprehensions 
which prevail regarding the processes 
of medal-making, I may be excused for 

reminding my readers that the stages 
through which a cast medal passes are 
{a) the original model in relief, positive ; 
{h) the mould, hollow, negative, made by 
impressing a into moulding material ; 
{c) the cast from the mould, i.e. the com- 
plete medal. Further, it may be well 
to say a word as to the way in which 
varieties, such as those which are to be 



Lettering, late Gothic ; N is invariably reversed ; stops, lozenges. For ANT I A and 
E I N EM read ANTE A and F I N EM . Bronze, 85 mm., Berlin.i Another specimen is m 
the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Fortnum Collection) ; a third at Milan {Bull, 
de la Soc. des Ant. de V Quest, 1889, p. 87) ; a fourth, apparently cast from, or else the 
original of, the Milan specimen, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It has the same 
breaks in the margin, and is pierced in exactly the same place. A fifth (83 mm.) with 
loop for suspension is in the British Museum ; it reads FIN EM, but is a poor cast. 

A medallion cast from the obverse of a similar medal is 
inserted in a bell, cast in 15 15 by Georgius Wagheuens, in the 

Fig. 6. — Detail from Altar-piece by Montagna. 

church of St. Olaus at Helsing0r in Denmark. See F. Uldall, 
Danmarks Middelalderlige Kirkeklokker (Copenhagen, 1906), 

described, came into existence. It was 
not necessary to build up an entirely 
new model. The artist could take an 
old medal and do one of two or three 
things. He could work on it with 
a graver, chasing and altering details, 
even cutting out one inscription and 
replacing it by another, or wholly 
modifying the bust. He could then 
make from this as many new casts as he 
pleased. Or, taking his old medal he 
could impress it in moulding material 
and make certain alterations at that stage ; 
but it is doubtful whether much could 
be done in this way which could not 
more easily be effected by a third 
1715 c 

method. That was to make a wax cast, 
reproducing the old medal exactly, and 
then work on it as one pleased ; this 
would then be the model from which 
the new variety could be cast. It is 
probable that not one of the varieties 
of the Salvator medal to be described 
was made from a new model, built up 
freehand in imitation of an original ; 
the moulds were doubtless in all cases 
made mechanically from older speci- 
mens, and all specimens are the lineal 
descendants of one original. 

1 Dr. H. Dressel kindly sent me casts 
of this and the next medal. 


.i;* .^> a' 

Fig. 7.— Medal at Berlin. 



pp. 303 f. This medal was also reproduced at Nancy, in the 
church of St. Evre, on a bell cast in 1576, but now no longer 
existing. 1 

b. (Fig. 8). — YHS • XPC in legend ; stops, pellets (two at the 
end). The field is roughened ; the area of the nimbus is sunk 
and filled with incised rays, the arms of the cross are also filled 
with incised lines. The whole medal is strongly tooled, especially 

Fig. 8. — Aiedal at Berlin. 

as regards the hair and the modelling of the face (note, e.g., the 
way in which the temple is sunk). 

Rev. — In wreath, inscription as on preceding, with the 
following differences : at beginning, small cross ; stops, pellets ; 
AO for ad; inpresse ; antea ; svmt ; dono for clenodio ; 


Bronze, 84 mm., Berlin. Published by W. Bode, Zeitschr. f. chr. Kunst, 1888, 
pp. 347 f. ; cf. Gaz. des Beaux-Arts, 1898, vol. xix, p. 489. 

The whole aspect of the lettering of this medal is somewhat earlier than that 
of a ; the D for instance is of a Gothic form ; the A has a more defined horizontal 
bar at the top. But the medal, to judge by the workmanship, has all the appearance of 
being a later modification of a. The artist, who realized that some people ^ might be 

1 Bull, de la Soc. des Ant. de rOuest, who in Bull, de la Soc. des Ant. de I'Ouest, 
1889, pp. 87 f. 1889, p. 77, commits himself to the state- 

■^ Such as Mgr. Barbier de Montault, ment that the word has no meaning. 


puzzled by the word CLENODIO (treasure, KX(iv(abi,ov, cf. the German Kleinod), 
has replaced it by DONO. 

c. {Frontispiece). — Stops, lozenges ; field slightly sunk ; 
circles in arms of cross ; the inscription, which is the same as on 
«, rests on an inner linear circle. 

Rev. — Bust of St. Paul r., with long beard, wearing cloak 
fastened with bulla on r. shoulder ; plain circular nimbus ; 

Fig. 9. — Medal in the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

inscription : ■ pavlvs • apostolvs vas ■ election is ; before third 
word, small cross ; stops, lozenges ; field slightly sunk. The 
lettering is late Gothic, as on a. 

Bronze, 83 mm., British Museum. A specimen, in some points better preserved 
than the Museum specimen, is in the possession of Sir Hercules Read. 

A specimen in the Victoria and Albert Museum has, instead of the head of 
St. Paul, an engraved niello-like design of a tree with various flowers (pinks, marigolds, 
&c.). On the obverse (fig. 9) the field of the nimbus is decorated with punched 
annulets, and the background of the inscription is roughened. A second specimen, 
also at South Kensington, has short incised rays round the head and face. 

d. (Fig. 10). — Inscription : ms ■ xpe, &c. ; stops, inverted 
triangles ; field not sunk ; circles in arms of cross. 

Rev. — In wreath, tied at bottom, inscription in six lines : 


"«— ^ -«Wl -»-M ~-- <■%.. 

^ A 

Fig. 10. — Medal in the Ashmolean Museum. 



Bronze, 91 mm., Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Fortnum Collection) .^ Note 
(for future reference) that INHVNC is written as one word. The lettering on both 
sides retains no Gothic elements. A specimen (bronze gilt, 90 mm.) without reverse 
at Florence reads XPC on the obverse.^ For the legend, see St. John xi. 27. 

e. (Fig. II, obverse). — Head of St. Paul as on reverse of c, 
but of slightly later, softened style ; inscription : • pavlvs apo- 
STOLVS VAS ELECTION IS • ; stops, SO far as preserved, inverted 

Fig. II. — Medal in the British Museum. 

Rev. — In wreath, tied at bottom, inscription in seven lines : 


line I the letters te, in line 5 ntv, are ligatured. 

Bronze, 89 mm., British Museum. The lettering on both sides of this medal 
is exactly the same as on d, with the same tendency to run words together, and there 
is no doubt that they are a pair. For the legend see Ps. Ixviii. 26, 27. 

/. Ohv. (Fig. 12). — Field not sunk ; circles in arms of 
cross ; inscription : lESVS christvssa lvator mvndi ; stops, 

1 I have to thank Mr. C. F. Bell for 2 j g Supino, // Medagliere Mediceo, 

a cast of this medal. It is mentioned by p. 61, no. 125. Professor Supino kindly 

A. Way, Archaeological Journal, xxix sent me casts of this medal and of the 

(1872), p. 119. Bargello specimen of/. 


Rev. — Bust of a monk 1. ; inscription : inqvietv(m) • est • 

COR MEVM • DONEC • REQVIESCAT ■ IN • TE ; StOpS, pellets (?). 

Bronze, 45 mm., British Museum (from the Rome Sale, Sotheby's, 1904, 
no. 309). Another specimen at Florence (Supino, p. 191, no. 609). Cf. Armand, 
Med.ital.,'m, p. 149 B. One at Berlin {Amtliche Berichte, 191 1, p. 127). The quota- 
tion on the reverse is from St. Augustine, Conf. i. i. 

This medal is the work of a Florentine, about the year 1500 ; 
the portrait of the monk shows a good deal of power of character- 
ization. It may well be by the same hand as the medal of Alberto 
Belli (who died in 1482) and as some of the medals of Savonarola. 
I have maintained elsewhere ^ that the portrait closely resembles 
the painting in the Academy at Florence of Dom Baltasar, 

Fig. 12. — Medal in the British Museum. 

Abbot of Vallombrosa, traditionally ascribed to Perugino, though 
some have named Raphael in connexion with it and its companion 
portrait of Dom Biagio, General of the Order of Vallombrosa.- 
Perugino may have painted the portraits about 1500. But I do 
not now feel convinced that the painting and the medal represent 
the same man. 

g. Obv. (Fig. 13). — Bust of Christ, as on the previous medals, 
but the nimbus is removed from behind the head and indicated 
in profile at the top. Inscription : liHS • XPC ■ salvat or • mvndi ■ 
Stops, apparently inverted triangles. 

Rev. — Inscription in seven lines : ms • | xps • devs | et • 


around : an imam ■ meam • pono ■ pro • ovibvs ■ meis • Stops, 
usually inverted triangles. 

^ Burlington Magazine, January 1909, Reinach, Re'pert. ii, p. 207 ; Crowe and 
p. 215. Cavalcaselle, ed. Borenius, v, p. 308. 

2 Florence, Accademia, nos. 241-2 ; 


British Museum (presented by Mr. Max Rosenheim). Bronze, 38 mm. The 
circular inscription is from St. John x. 15 ; the other contains a reminiscence of 
Eph. ii. 14. 

This last medal of Christ also had its companion medal of 
St. Paul (fig. 14) : 

Obv. — Bust of St. Paul r., with long beard, wearing cloak 
fastened on r. shoulder with bulla ; no nimbus ; inscription : 


Rev. — Inscription in seven lines : pavlvs ■ | raptvs • in | 


LOQVi, and around : christo • confixvs ■ svm ■ CRVCi ■ 

Collection of Mr. Henry Oppenheimer, bronze gilt, 38 mm. (Lanna Catalogue 
356, pi. 22). Another in the Collection of Signor Pio Santamaria. For the inscriptions 
see 2 Cor. xii. 4 and Gal. ii. 20. 

Fig. 13. — Medal in the British Museum. 

I do not know of any later medals with this type of Christ, 
which seems to have been superseded by the regular sixteenth- 
century type, which we shall deal with later. But some other 
small works reproduce the same type. One is a stone relief, about 
70 cm. square, in the Museum of the Societe des Antiquaires de 
rOuest at Poitiers (fig. 15). I reproduce it here from Pere 
Gaifre's Portraits du Christ (p. 73). ^ It will be noticed that it 
reproduces exactly the type of the medal, but that the inscription 
has been transferred to a scroll and the abbreviations expanded 
as on/. The relief was found at Bignoux (Vienne), and appears 
to be French work of the early sixteenth century. 

The medal also influenced German line-engravers and wood- 
cutters of the early sixteenth century. We have no less than 
four instances in point. The line-engraving (fig. 16), which seems 

1 By the author's kind permission. Bulletin de la Soc. des Antiquaires de 
For further details I may refer to Mgr. V Quest, 1889, p. 91. 
Barbier de Montault's article in the 



to be the earliest of all these reproductions/ is at the same 
time the least skilful. Other works of the artist, who is known by 
the floriated A seen in the left-hand bottom corner of the illustra- 
tion, have been described by Passavant and Lehrs ; ^ the latter 
authority dates his activity about 1500. For us the chief interest 
of the engraving lies in the fact, revealed by the text below, that 
it is taken from one of the earliest class of the medals with the 
long inscription referring to Bajazet's emerald on the reverse, 
and not, like Hans Burgkmair's woodcut, from the later variety 
with the short inscription TV ES christvs, &c. The character 
of the features is considerably altered, but the essentials of the 
type, except the fleshiness of the lips, are preserved. In the 

Fig. 14. — Medal in the Collection of Mr. Henry Oppenheimer. 

legend round the edge the engraving corresponds with the medal. 
Below is a short legend giving the substance of the long inscrip- 
tion on the original, viz. (abbreviations being resolved) : ' Imago 
et vera facies domini nostri iesu christi facta instar illius quam 
olim ingenti smaragdo impressam turcorum rex Innocentio papae 
octavo pro singulari clenodio misit.' Next comes an engraving 
dated 1507, published at Pforzheim ; =^ it represents the bust 
of Christ surrounded by a circle which obviously suggests the 
border of the medal. The nimbus is omitted. A finer work 
is that of Hans Burgkmair, about 15 15, which I reproduce here 
(fig. 17).^ This is admittedly and obviously a close copy of the 

1 My attention was called to this 
hitherto unpubUshed work, which is at 
Dresden, as well as to the woodcut 
described below, by Mr. Campbell 
Dodgson ; and for the photograph of the 
former I have to thank Professor Max 

- Passavant, Le Peintre Graveur, ii, 
pp. 200 f. ; Lehrs, Repert. f. Kunstwiss., 

xii (1889), pp. 344 ff. 

^ Reproduced by L. Kaemmerer, 
Hubert undjan van Eyck, p. 97. 

* From a photograph obtained for me 
by Mr. Campbell Dodgson, who also 
called my attention to the engraving. 
I have omitted from the illustration the 
lettering above and below the design. 



medal d, even to the use of the triangular stops. It will be noticed 
that the inscription of the reverse has been transferred to an 
outer circle, and that the copyist has slavishly followed the original 
in running the two words in hvnc into one. Above the design 
is a long account in Latin of the supposed origin of the medal, 

Fig. 15. — Stone Relief at Poitiers. 

From Gaffre, Portr. du Christ. 

to this effect : The portrait of Christ painted during his lifetime 
was perpetuated in a bronze and gold tablet of the fashion and 
size of this medal, faithfully reproducing the prototype. When 
the perfidious race of the Turks expelled the Christians from 
Asia, this holy effigy was hidden away. It is said on good authority 



that this bronze tablet, together with three gold coins bearing the 
same image, was found in the treasury of a certain king of the 
Turks, and was given by him to a certain noble German who was 

Fig. 16, — German Engraving at Dresden. 

on a visit to the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. It was thus brought 
to Europe and copied by some painter. As a proof that this 
image represents the actual appearance of Christ, the letter of 
Lentulus is given below the engraving. 


The reference to the copy made from the tablet by a painter 
is interesting in view of a point which we shall consider below. 

The woodcut illustrated in fig. i8 comes from a work by 
Hans Sachs, published at Frankfurt in 1538 ; ^ the cuts are 
mostly by Beham, but that with which we are concerned seems 

Fig. 17. — Engraving by Hans Burgkmair. 

to be from another hand. The work has considerably less merit 
than its predecessors, but shows the persistence of the type in 
Germany. One may doubt whether it was taken directly from the 
medal, and not rather from some earlier woodcut. 

The type of the medals is also reproduced with some altera- 
tions on a miniature published by Mgr. Barbier de Montault,- 

1 Hans Sachs, Der Reiser, Kunige und duced in Baer's Frankfurter Biicher- 

anderer beder geschlecht personen kurtze freund, 1900, nos. 9-1 1, p. 184. 
Beschreibung, Sec. The head of Christ ^ Op. ctt., p 116. 
from which fig. 18 is taken is also repro- 



and dating from the seventeenth century. An inscription below 
says : Cette presente Figure est la representation et ressemblance 
de nostre Sauveur Jesus Christ gravee sur une Emeraude envoyee 
au Pape Paul V. par le Grand Turc, pour le rachapt d'une sienne 
qu'il tenoit pour lors prisonniere.^ 

But to discuss later reproductions of this kind would lead 
us into a consideration of the numerous later paintings, engravings, 

Fig. 18. — German Woodcut of 1538. 

&c., professing to reproduce the authentic portraits of Christ. 
For these I must refer to the articles by Messrs. C. W. King and 
Albert Way in the Archaeological Journal.^ It is improbable that 

^ Thus, as we may see by comparison 
with the facts about Bajazet and his 
brother described below, Djem has 
changed his sex, Innocent VIII has 
become Paul V, and retineret has become 
redimeret — for so we can explain the 
origin of the idea that Bajazet wished to 
ransom the prisoner. Cf. ' redemption ', 
&c., in the pictures described by C. W. 
King, Arch. Journ. xxvii, pp. 181 f. 

- xxvii (1870), pp. 181 f., and xxix 
(1872), pp. 109 f. See also the reprints 

in C. W. King's Early Christian Numis- 
matics, &c. (1873). The tapestry panel 
referred to in the latter article, pp. 113 f., 
appears to be identical with that now in 
the British Museum. A small EngHsh 
panel exhibited by Mr. Clifford Smith at 
the Society of Antiquaries {Proc. Soc. 
Ant., January 22, 1914) is among the most 
degraded of its class. In the text accom- 
panying it Zizim has become * Maximilian 
the Great ' ! Cp. also Bodleian Quarterly 
Record, iii (1920), no. 25. 


any of the paintings described in these articles can be older than 
the sixteenth century. 

A terracotta of Italian workmanship, acquired in Paris by 
M. Gaillard de la Dionnerie, is also said by Mgr. Barbier de Mon- 
tault 1 to reproduce the type ; but it would appear from his 
description that the resemblance is not so exact as in the case of 
the French relief at Poitiers. 

A bronze plaque at Berlin, ^ representing half figures of Christ 
and the Virgin, has also been brought into connexion with these 
medals. Although the heads are not in profile but nearly facing, 
the type of Christ is obviously the same. His right hand is raised 
in blessing, his left holds the cruciferous orb. The plaquette is 
a work of the ' school of Donatello ' of the second half of the 
fifteenth century. 

In the Victoria and Albert Museum is a Limoges enamel 
(c. 1550) by J. Penicaud which is adapted from the Salvator 
medal ; it has the inscription ms • XPC ■ salvator ■ mvndi • 
(stops, three-armed) up the left side and along the top of the panel. 

What are we to make of the ' special picture of Christ cast 
in mould by Raphael de Urbino brought into England from 
Rome by Cardynall Poole ', which is mentioned in the inventory 
of Lumley Castle^ drawn up in 1590 ? Possibly it was merely 
one of our ' Salvator ' medals. 

For the sake of completeness I mention here another painting, 
although a reproduction is not forthcoming, and the original is 
inaccessible to me. It is a large miniature ^ in a New Testament 
in the library at Fulda, which has, unfortunately, been repainted 
in oils in the sixteenth century. It bears the inscription effigi ES • 


It does not appear from Bode's description whether the picture 
exactly represents the profile type with which we are concerned. 

But there is a representation of this type of the bust of 
Christ which is more important than any of the copies of the medal 
that we have discussed. It is a painting on an oak panel in the 
Kaiser Friedrich Museum at Berlin, representing Christ in the 

^ Op. cit., p. io6. ^ E. Milner, Records of the Lumleys 

2 Berlin, 997 ; Molinier, op. cit., ii, (1904), p. 333. 

p. 73, no. 462 ; published by Bode, * Mentioned by Bode, Ztschr. f. chr. 

Ztschr. /. chr. Kunst, p. 350, and repro- Kunst, 1888, p. 350. 
duced by Barbier de Montault, p. 72. 


act of blessing, the right hand being only partly seen (fig. 19).^ 
It used to be attributed to Jan van Eyck, who died in July 1441 ; 
but Mr. Weale, the chief authority on the subject, considers it 

Fig. 19. — Bust of Christ by a follower of Jan van Jiyck. 

to belong to the end of the fifteenth century. And, to be on the 
safe side in the argument which ensues, we had better accept that 
judgement. Thus a delicate and complicated question arises : 

1 No. 528 A ; ascribed in the official W.Y[.].Wea.\e,Hubertandjfohn van Eyck 

catalogue (5th ed., 1904, p. 126) to an (1908), p. 210 ; Weale and Brockwell, 

imitator of Jan van Eyck. Bode, op. cit., The Van Eycks (1912), p. 188. 
pp. 347 f. ; Kaemmerer, op. cit., p. 95 ; 


is the picture earlier or later than the medal (which as we shall 
see can hardly be earlier than 1492), the original source of the 
medal or inspired by it ; or do both go back to a common original ? 
The last is the view of Dr. von Bode. It will be observed that 
the picture is a fragment ; and he suggests that it once contained 
another person, probably the Virgin, as she is represented on the 
Berlin plaquette already described. Among the Limoges enamels 
from the Barwell Bequest in the British Museum is one represent- 
ing busts of Christ (of the type in question) and of the Virgin, 
confronted, and evidently derived from some such picture as 
that of which half is preserved at Berlin. 

Following the suggestion of the inscription on the reverse 
of the earliest variety of the medal, some, including Dr. von 
Bode, regard the type as an imitation of a Byzantine original. 
Let us reconsider that inscription. The medals a and b, it will 
have been noted, mention two ' figures ', of Jesus Christ and of 
the Apostle Paul, which were once ' impressed ', i.e. carved (in 
intaglio ?), on an emerald, which had been preserved with great 
care by the predecessors of the Grand Turk,^ and sent by him 
to his Holiness Pope Innocent VIII ^ as an especial treasure, to 
the end that he might retain his brother in captivity. 

Djem, or Zizim, defeated by his brother, the Sultan Bajazet II, 
fled to Egypt, and then appealed to the Knights of St. John at 
Rhodes, where he landed in 1482.^ The Grand Master, who used 
him as a means of extorting money from Bajazet, sent him to 
France, whence he transferred him, in 1489, to Rome. There 
he lived a prisoner in the Vatican, the Pope receiving a heavy 
tribute from the Sultan on condition of keeping him in security. 
In 1492 Bajazet sent also the head of the sacred lance with which 
the side of Christ had been pierced. Djem died at Naples — 
perhaps poisoned — in 1495. 

Now, if Bajazet sent the sacred lance-head, there is nothing 
improbable in the story that he sent the engraved emerald of 
which the presentation is recorded on our medals.^ But no one, 
it would seem, has ever seen anything of the kind. Until the 

^ For Theucer = ^viTk. in the fifteenth ^ For the story of this prince see 

century see Ducange s.v. Teucri. Gregorovius, Gesch. der Stadt Rom, vii, 

^ Von Bode remarks that the inscrip- pp. 290 ff., 374 (Eng. ed., pp. 305 fF., 

tion shows the medal to have been made 394). 

during Innocent's occupation of the * Mgr. de Montault's reasons (p. 118) 

Papal chair (1484-92). This is probable, for doubting that the emerald ever 

but the inscription hardly proves it. existed are insufficient. 


Treasury of St. Peter's yields up its secrets, we must proceed on 
the assumption that the emerald, if it was ever in the possession 
of the Vatican, has disappeared. Two portraits are spoken 
of, but it seems to be implied that they were on the same stone. 
A head of Christ engraved on a precious stone appears to 
have been among the treasures at St. Sophia as early as the tenth 
century. As M. de Mely has pointed out,^ Anthony of Novgorod, 
describing the treasures of Constantinople in a.d. 1200, says that 
he saw a large silver dish, used for Divine service, which was given 
by Olga, the Russian grand duchess, to the Patriarch ; in which 
dish is a precious stone, with the effigy of Christ chased thereon, 
from which impressions are taken .^ As Olga died in 968, this 
stone must have been as old as the tenth century. 

Possibly, then, the emerald sent by Bajazet to Rome in or 
about 1492 was at least as old as the tenth century, being identical 
with Olga's. But then, what of the head of St. Paul ? 

M. de Mely, in calling attention to the passage from the 
Russian pilgrim, maintains that in the Christ- type of the medal 
we have a specimen — modified no doubt by the hand of the 
Renaissance artist, but still representing the original — of Byzan- 
tine glyptic art of the tenth century. Dr. von Bode,^ also, 

1 Gazette des Beaux- Arts, 1898, tome to our fig. 12) is imitated from the 
xix, p. 492. known ancient Byzantine cameo in the 

2 Antonius Novgorodensis, Liher qui Treasury of St. Peter's (' dem bekannten 
dicitur Peregrinus. Latin version of altbyzantinischen Kameo im Schatz der 
extracts in P. E. D. Riant, Exuviae, ii Peterskirche nachgebildet ist '). He goes 
(1878), p. 219 : ' Discus sacrificii magnus on to point out that in relief and handhng 
argenteus, ab Olga Russica, magna the head of the monk resembles the heads 
ducissa, quae ilium donavit pontifici in of Savonarola and his supporters and 
usus sacrificii, quando in caesaream opponents, which he (Dr. von Bode) has 
urbem venit, ut baptizaretur. , . . In sought to show to be the work of Niccolo 
disco illo Olgae lapis quidam pretiosus (di) Forzore. Since the head of Christ 
est, coelatam exhibens Christi effigiem, on the reverse exactly resembles the 
cuius signacula impressa desumuntur known larger plaquette (imitated from 
ad quasvis gratias obtinendas ; desuper the said Byzantine cameo), to which 
autem discus margaritis ornatus est.' there is a companion piece with a head 
[Another version for magna . . . bapt. of St. Peter, it is probable, he concludes, 
gives donatus, quae C. P. ad tributum that these two plaquettes are also works 
percipiendum verier at.] of Niccolo Fiorentino. This passage 

^ This critic's latest handling of the contains some details of a most surprising 

matter is worth considering. He writes kind. If the description of the cameo 

(Amtliche Berichte aus den koniglichen as ' known ' means anything more than 

Kunstsammlungen, March 191 1, p. 127) that it has been talked of for centuries, 

that the profile of Christ (on the reverse without any serious evidence of its 

of a medal with a monk's head, similar character or appearance, or even of its 

1715 E 



assumes that the medal-type is a faithful copy of the head on the 
emerald, and suggests that copies of the famous stone found their 
way to the West long before the emerald itself came to Rome. 
This last suggestion is certainly borne out by the remark of 
Anthony that signacula impressa desumuntur ad quasvis gratias 

existence at the present time, being pro- 
duced, Dr. von Bode ought to have been 
more precise. He may, for all we know, 
have had that access to some of the 
treasures of St. Peter's which is denied 
to less fortunate investigators ; but he 
has never, it would seem, made his 
discovery public. We are therefore 
forced to assume that he knows no more 
about the * known ' Byzantine cameo 
than any one else. He goes on to speak 
of ' plaquettes ' of Christ and St. Peter, 
companion pieces. The standard works 
on plaquettes record none such. It is 
probable that he means to refer to 
specimens of the medal of Christ which 
have been cast without reverses. To 
call such pieces plaquettes is merely 
misleading. But, letting that pass, what 
are we to make of the companion piece 
with the head of St. Peter } Neither 
among plaquettes nor medals is it 
possible to find any work in any way 
answering to that description. Has 
Dr. von Bode again special knowledge, 
which he does not choose to divulge, or 
is he merely confusing St. Peter with 
St. Paul ? If we must decide, the balance 
of probability seems to incline to the 
latter alternative. There are other 
matters in the official report from which 
the above passage is taken, which seem 
to indicate that carelessness of thought 
and method are at the bottom of the 
mystery. Amongst the acquisitions of 
the Berlin Museum, which the Director 
illustrates and describes, are two medallic 
pieces, the one a portrait of the painter 
Francia, the other a design of Hercules 
and Atlas with the globe, with the 
inscription * Hi duo, ille solus '. The 
Francia is described as a leaden model for 
a medal which was never carried out or 
is unknown. To those who are in the least 

familiar with the history of medallic art, 
it should be at once obvious that it is 
a grotesque forgery. It belongs to a class, 
including medals of Primaticcio and 
Guercino, which were made by some 
bungling hand, hardly earher than 1650. 
(All three are illustrated together in my 
Portrait Medals of Italian Artists of the 
Renaissance, pi. XXXII.) Of the Her- 
cules and Atlas design Dr. von Bode 
writes that it is without doubt the reverse 
of an unknown or never executed medal, 
of which the broad, large handling of 
form betrays an artist of the character 
of Leone Leoni (' deren breite, gross- 
ziigige Formenbehandlung einen Kunst- 
ler in der Art des Leone Leoni verrat '). 
Again those dangerous words * unknown 
or never carried out ' ! This wonderful 
design, which to the Director of the 
Prussian Museums is the work of an 
Italian artist such as Leone Leoni, is 
nothing but the reverse of a medal by 
a French artist of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, representing Cardinal Mazarin, 
which he might have found illustrated 
in its complete form by reference to so 
well known a work as the Tresor de 
Numismatique (Medailles fran^aises, i, 
pi. LXVI, 5). But even were the design 
otherwise unknown, the lettering alone 
is enough to betray it. It has seemed 
desirable to dwell upon these matters, 
hardly in themselves relevant to the sub- 
ject of this book, because they throw 
some light on the quality of Dr. von 
Bode's expertise in regard to medallic 
art, and justify us in refusing to accept 
without careful discrimination his views 
on the origin of the medal of Christ. 
The criticism of medals requires special 
training, and cannot be regarded as a 
trifle which any critic of sculpture can 
dispatch in his spare time. 


ohtinendas ; whatever exactly this may mean, it is clear that 
impressions of the gem were made. 

The whole question may, however, be approached from 
another point of view ; and we may clear the way by asking 
whether, so far as our knowledge of Byzantine art goes, there is 
anything which bears the least resemblance to the type of the 
Flemish picture and the medals. I believe that every Byzantinist 
will answer in the negative.^ On the other hand, the type in 
the Flemish picture has all the appearance of being taken straight 
from life ; ^ there is nothing Byzantine about it ; and although 
it corresponds with the literary tradition so far as concerns the 
beard and hair, there is absolutely nothing in the head which 
suggests a hieratic artistic tradition. 

Further, there is, I think, no doubt that the type of face is 
characteristic of Flemish art in the fifteenth century. Even in 
full-face representations, one is able to recognize the thick, 
fleshy lips and nose, with the moustache starting from the corners 
of the upper lip, in paintings and in illuminated manuscripts 
from the time of Jan van Eyck down to the early sixteenth cen- 
tury ; and when in profile, one sees also the retreating forehead. 
It is important to note that features such as this are given not 
only to Christ, but also to any face to which it is desired 
to assign prominence .=^ On the other hand, it is extremely 
rare to find any approximation to the type in art south of the 

1 It is quite possible that Olga's ^ I note here some of the Dutch, 

emerald reproduced the Edessa portrait Flemish, or North French MSS. in the 

which was translated to Constantinople British Museum, which it is instructive 

in 944 (see v. Dobschiitz, Christusbilder, to compare. 17267 (Dutch, early or 

1899, pp. 149 ff.). In this case it would middle of saec. xv), fol. 28 b, 42 b; 

be a facing head. The profile treatment Sloane 2471 (Flemish illuminations, 

would be almost an anomaly in Byzantine second third of saec. xv), fol. 54 b; 

art. The facing bust on the cameo in 35313 (late xv), fol. 8, 21, 22 b, 222 b ; 

the Bibliotheque Nationale (Babelon, 1885 1 (late xv), fol. 77, 345 b ; 17280 

Camees 333, pi. xxxix) shows the typical (Flemish, latexv), fol. 202 b, 221 b. The 

Byzantine treatment, but I cannot agree type is very prominent throughout the 

with M. de Mely {Gaz. des Beaux- Arts ^ fifteenth century in the Netherland 

1898, vol. xix, p. 492) that this resembles school of painting ; for late instances see 

the type which we find in profile on our the works of Hieronymus Bosch and Jan 

medals. Mostaert, illustrated in M. Friedlander, 

^ It is only fair to note that Kaem- Meisterwerke der niederl. Malerei, pis. 84, 

merer (p. loi) says that the picture is 85, 86. It would not be difficult to cite 

probably not the result of direct study instances from English fifteenth-century 

from the life, but a copy of the so-called art, such as the alabaster reliefs of the 

vera effigies. I simply cannot agree. Nottingham school. 


Alps,^ and no one has yet produced a parallel to it from 
Byzantine art. 

If therefore we have no definite instance of the occurrence 
of the type in question in Byzantine art ; if it occurs in a Flemish 
picture of the fifteenth century, and a similar treatment of hair 
and features is characteristic of Flemish art, while only excep- 
tionally found south of the Alps, down to the sixteenth century — 
how can we avoid the conclusion that the statement connecting 
the medals with Bajazet's emerald must be regarded with 
suspicion ? 

The inscription says that there were two heads, one of 
Christ, the other of St. Paul. Mgr. de Montault has suggested 
(p. 79) that two medals were made, one representing each head, 
but with the same inscription mentioning both : presentes 
FIGVRE, &c. Such a medal of St. Paul we do not actually possess ; 
but the medal c shows that a head of St. Paul was connected with 
the head of Christ, supposed to be copied from the emerald. 
If the Christ reproduces the type of the emerald, we are justified 
in supposing that the St Paul does the same. And that is 
a rediictio ad absurdum ; for I do not think that any one, even if 
he believe in the Byzantine origin of the former, will fail to 
recognize a pure Italian type in the latter. 

We infer, therefore, that the inscription on the reverse of 
the early medals a, b is 3. pious fiction, intended to give currency 
to the portrait on the obverse by assigning to it a respectable 
pedigree. The artists of the period were no more conscientious 
in such matters than their successors of the sixteenth and seven- 

1 Instances I have noted are in the Flemish influence on the Italian illu- 

Brit. Mus. MS. 15265 (saec. xiv) and in minator need not surprise us. There 

the Veronese fresco (second half of is some approximation to the type also 

saec. xv) over the main entrance to San in Verrocchio'is Christ in the famous 

Fermo Maggiore, in which the face of group (finished in 1480) on the outside 

St. Longinus bears some slight resem- of Or San Michele ; indeed I have 

blance to the type. Northern influence heard that, on the strength of the 

was strong in Verona. A good instance, resemblance, the medal with which we 

more or less contemporary with the are dealing has been attributed to the 

medal, is in the Book of Hours of Bona great sculptor. It is quite unworthy of 

Sforza (Brit. Mus. MS. 34294, as in him from the point of view of technique, 

fol. 88, reproduced in Warner, Reprod. The peculiar treatment of the moustache 

from Ilium. MSS., ser. iii, 1908, is in itself not confined to the North ; 

pi. xlii). It should be noted that, thus we find it in the Santo Volto of 

although this illumination is ascribed to Lucca (Gaffre, Les Portraits du Christy 

an Italian hand, many of the illuminations pi. xviii). 
in the same book are Flemish, and 


teenth centuries, who would not scruple to describe a fancy 
head of Christ as a faithful copy of the emerald of Bajazet.^ 

We may conclude, therefore, as regards the relation between 
the picture and the medal, that either the medal is copied from 
the picture, or, if they have a common origin, that origin is to be 
sought in a Flemish painting approximating to the extant picture, 
and not in any way dependent on a Byzantine model. 

The medal has been briefly discussed by the late Natalis 
Rondot in his posthumous work on French medallists and coin 
engravers .2 A certain number of specimens, he states, have 
been met with at Lyon, In 15 17 the echevins of that city pre- 
sented a specimen in gold to the wife of the General of Finance 
of Languedoc. De Longperier (presumably Adrien of that 
name) possessed a fine specimen in yellow bronze which he 
regarded as of Lyonnese origin. This attribution M. Rondot 
regards as possible. The medal, he says, is certainly French ; 
but this statement he qualifies by the addition that, to judge by 
the heads and the character of the lettering, it must be a French 
reproduction, made in the first years of the sixteenth century, 
of an Italian piece of the end of the fifteenth. 

To distinguish between an Italian original of the end of 
the fifteenth century and a French reproduction made a few 
years later by the casting process, and possibly differing only in 
the character of the lettering — note that the busts in the various 
extant specimens differ in no essential characteristics — is a process 
of considerable delicacy. It is still more delicate when the whole 
question is complicated by the fact that the more remarkable of 
the two heads is derived from a painting by a Northern master. 
Unfortunately very little is known of French work of that date 
which can be compared with the medal. But, as Sir Hercules 
Read points out to me, an important monument of the potter's 
art at Lyon in the early sixteenth century is the tile (fig. 20) 
with the head of St. John the Baptist, presented to the British 
Museum by Major- General Meyrick.^ As to this, Mr. Solon 
remarks that the modelling of the head is absolutely French in 
style. There may be a superficial resemblance between this 
head and the head of Christ on our medals ; but it is hardly 

^ Cf. C. W. King, in Archaeological ed. by H. de la Tour (Paris, 1904), p. 

Journal, xxvii (1870), p. 181. 83. 

2 Les Medailleurs et les Graveurs de ^ M. L. Solon, Hist, and Descr. of the 

Monnaies Jetons et Medailles en France, Old French Faience (1903), fig. 4. 



enough to justify any argument as to community of origin. In 
any case we have to remember two things. First, that ItaUan 
influence was exceedingly strong at Lyon at the time. As 

Fig. 20. — Tile with head of St. John Baptist. British Museum. 

Mr. Solon remarks (p. 41), ' of the twenty-seven master potters 
known to have been at work at Lyon in the early part of the 
sixteenth century, seven were of Italian origin ; they are said 
to have practised their art after the fashion used in their own 


country '. Second, that the resemblance between the medal and 
the terra-cotta is confined to the head of Christ on the former ; 
the treatment of the head of St. Paul is absolutely different. In 
other words, it is a resemblance of type rather than of style. And 
this resemblance of type may be due to the influence of some 
Northern model on the designer of the tile. One would like 
to have had more explicit reasons for Rondot's opinion. At 
present (assuming him to admit the derivation of the head of 
Christ from the Flemish painting) we find him committed to the 
view that we have a French imitation (early sixteenth century) of 
a lost Italian medal (late fifteenth century), of which one side was 
copied from a Flemish painting (late fifteenth century) and the 
other was of Italian origin (presumably contemporary). I prefer 
to take refuge in the less subtle and romantic theory that the Italian 
medal is not lost but is to be found in some at least of the many 
varieties in which the medal with the two heads exists .^ 

The medals are of Italian origin. We have nothing in the 
early medallic art of the Netherlands, or of any other country, 
to warrant our ascribing the medal a to any part of the world 
save Italy. It is well known that early Flemish pictures found 
their way into Italian collections ; ^ and there is no difficulty 
therefore in supposing that the picture now at Berlin, or an 
earlier version of it, was known to the Italian artist who invented 
the medal with which we are concerned. But, not possessing any 
such model for his St. Paul, he produced a head of purely Italian 
type. This explains the different feeling which characterizes 
the two heads, and which gives the impression that the medal c is 
a hybrid, i.e. a combination of two obverses which do not belong 
to each other. From some medal combining the two heads, 
as in c, a later artist, who was unaware of the medals with the 
inscription attributing the origin of the type to the emerald, 
made the two medals d and e, to which he attached new reverse 
inscriptions. All this happened probably after 1492 (when 
Bajazet sent the lance-head and, perhaps, also the emerald) 
and before 1507, the date of the Pforzheim engraving, or, if 
that is taken from the earlier medal, before about 15 15, to which 
time Burgkmair's engraving probably belongs. The statement 

1 In the British Museum is a specimen, 2 ggg Jacques Mesnil, UArt au Nord 

presented by the late Mr. Max Rosen- et au Sud des Alpes (191 1), especially 

heim, in which the head of Christ is p. 20, on the devotional aspect of the 

surrounded by fine incised rays. Northern pictures. 



on Burgkmair's sheet, to the effect that the original portraits of 
Christ were copied by a painter, I take to reveal the fact that the 
connexion between this type and the Flemish painting was 

Admitting that the medal is of Italian origin, can we be 
more precise, and indicate the school to which it belongs ? Those 
who are familiar with the products of the Italian schools of the 
end of the fifteenth century will not fail to recognize, in the 
handling of the bust and the hair, traces of the Florentine manner. 
So much, indeed, of the ordinary journeyman Work of the 
Florentines has been attributed to the chief master of that 
school, Niccolo di Forzore Spinelli, that it would be strange 
if these Christ medals had escaped. But Dr. von Bode, as we 
have seen, has not hesitated to annex them for his favourite. 
They have also, as I have indicated above (p. 36, note i), been 
assigned to an even greater Florentine, Verrocchio, on what 
appear to me to be inadequate grounds. But Florentine influ- 
ence was strong in Rome also at the end of the century, and I am 
inclined to suggest that the medal was made, so to speak, in the 
shadow of the Vatican, where the treasure, which it falsely 
professed to reproduce, was laid up. There is something of the 
classicizing spirit in the style of the head of St. Paul, in particular, 
which suggests Rome rather than Florence. 

The genealogy of the type may therefore be expressed as 
follows : 

Picture of the School of Jan van Eyck. 

[Presumed Medal with 
head of St. Paul and 
inscription corre- 
sponding to a.] 

Medal a (shortly after 1492). 

Medal c. 

Medals b,f, and 
other repro- 
ductions of 
later date. 

Berlin Plaque with 
Christ and Virgin 
(second half of 
fifteenth century) . 

Medal e. Medal d. 

German Engravings 
of early sixteenth 


This theory of the history of the type appears to me, due 
account being taken of the psychology of fifteenth-century artists, 
to make legitimate use of our data. As I have said, there is no 
reason to doubt that there was an actual antique emerald sent 
from Constantinople by Bajazet to the Vatican. But whom the 
heads on it actually represented is another question ; and further, 
when we come to the claim of the medals to represent that gem, 
our suspicions are aroused, and investigation becomes necessary. 

There is^ however, an alternative theory in explanation of 
the real origin of the two heads of Christ and St. Paul, which 
Sir Martin Conway has put before me, and kindly allows me to 
reproduce ; I do so as far as possible in his own words : 

The statement that there were two heads engraved upon 
the emerald is very suggestive, and at once recalls the third- and 
fourth-century gems with double heads, and other decorative 
objects thus treated. For example, a marriage-ring in the Berlin 
Museum, 1 with two bust portraits in profile confronted ; or the 
fifth-century ring in the British Museum ; ^ and plenty more 
might be cited .=^ In Berlin * is a little gold encolpion of the fourth 
century, from Egypt, with two such confronted heads in profile 
of SS. Peter and Paul. Such confronted profiles of the two 
saints with the chi-rho monogram between them adorn a bronze 
repousse plaque ^ and also appear on gold-glass ; ^ and there is 
also a single head of the type (called Peter) in the Basilewsky 

Now the statement that the gem was engraved with the heads 
of Christ and St. Paul seems to suggest that it was in reality 
a third- to fourth-century gem with the heads of Peter and Paul. 
The head of Paul in fig. 11 perfectly corresponds with the above 
cited examples. The head of Christ, however, differs in having 
long hair, whereas both the Apostles in all the examples cited 
have short hair ; but the form of beard is the same.^ 

1 Atntliche Berichte, November 1913, in the Vatican Library Museum, ibid., 
p. 34. pi. X, 2. 

2 Dalton, Catalogue of the Finger Rings, ^ Deville, Hist, de VArt de la Verrerie, 
no. 127 ; Catalogue of Early Christian 1873, pi. 29 B. 

Antiquities, no. 207. ' Darcel et Basilewsky, Coll. Basilew- 

^ e. g. Proc. Soc. Ant. xxii. loi. sky, pi. V. 

* WulfF, Altchr. &c. Bildwerke, 11 18. ^ It is to be noted that on the well- 

" Bull. d'Archeol. Crist., 1887, p. 130, known disc from the cemetery of Domi- 

pl. X, 3 (found in the Catacomb of tilla (^m//^^., /oc. a/., pi. X, i) the beards 

S. Agnese). Compare the similar bronze are short and round. 

1715 F 


There may then have been a real gem at the Vatican, on 
a tiny scale, engraved with heads of Peter and Paul, but without 
their names. There may have been, as in some such representa- 
tions we know there was, a small star or cross or chi-rho mono- 
gram between the two heads, which may have been taken to 
identify one of the heads as Christ. Some artist, being told that 
the heads were Christ and Paul, may have made a painted copy 
of it on a large scale, giving it of course his own local style and 
making the Christ long-haired. This artist may have been 
Flemish, and have worked from a wax impression. Granted that 
the Berlin picture is the first so painted, and that it ever had both 
heads, the introduction of a blessing hand was the only way 
in which the presence of two heads of equal dimensions and 
importance could be explained and a proper predominance given 
to Christ's head. 

The mistake has been in looking for the original in Byzantine 
days. It would seem that these confronted busts are a pre- 
Byzantine type. Of course the treasury at Constantinople may 
have contained many objects brought from Rome or made in 
any and every part of the Empire ; there is, therefore, no inherent 
improbability in the statement that the gem was sent from 

This is Sir Martin Conway's theory, and it presents remark- 
able attractions. It may have already occurred to the reader that 
the original juxtaposition of Christ and St. Paul in the form 
presumed seems a little hard to explain. One might expect to 
find Christ between two other persons ; but why should St. Paul 
have been chosen to be placed alone with his Master on a gem ? 
On the other hand, the confronted heads of SS. Peter and Paul 
were the obvious thing. Again, an artist familiar with the later 
conception of St. Peter, as it is found, for instance, on mediaeval 
Papal bullae, may well have failed to recognize the long-bearded 
type as it is seen on the bronze of S. Agnese, and may have taken 
it for Christ. It may be noted that on the fifteenth-century 
medals the heads of Christ and St. Paul face to left and right 
respectively ; it may therefore be assumed that if they were 
both copied from some one design, on that original they were 
confronted. All this is in favour of Sir Martin's theory. 

If I point out one or two objections to it, it is not because 
it conflicts with my own view, which is only concerned with 
denying the direct Byzantine origin of the Christ-type on our 


medal. We know that there existed a design of some kind with the 
two busts of Christ, blessing, and the Virgin ; the Berlin plaquette 
and the Barwell enamel ^ are enough to prove that ; and in both 
these the type of Christ is akin to that on the medal and in the 
Berlin picture. It seems only reasonable to assume that the Berlin 
picture when complete contained not St. Paul as the second 
figure but the Virgin. Secondly, why should the artist, copying 
the supposed early gem, have so thoroughly transformed the one 
head not merely by giving it the long hair which he supposed to 
be characteristic of Christ, but also by making it wholly Flemish 
in feeling, while he succeeded in retaining the classical Roman 
type for his St. Paul ? Is it not more likely that the ultimate 
source of the medal of Christ was one thing (the Flemish picture), 
and that of the medal of Paul another ? 

Whatever be the solution, it is to be repeated that Sir 
Martin's theory and my own are not incompatible. My theory 
assumes that the head of Christ on the medal was derived from 
a Flemish picture ; his explains the origin of that picture. 

II. The Sixteenth Centurv 

WITH the sixteenth century the medallic type of Christ 
assumes a character very different from that which we 
have met with in the late quattrocento. Here again, 
though much less directly than in the former case, the medallic 
type was inspired by a great painter. We shall see that the theory 
which connects it directly with no less an artist than Leonardo 
da Vinci cannot be regarded as tenable. Since Leonardo practi- 
cally dominated the whole of North Italian art in his time, it 
is clear that but for him the medallic type as we know it would 
not have come into existence ; but the filiation with him is not 

Among the engravings of Raphael Morghen is a medallion 
representing the draped bust of Christ to the left, without 
nimbus, but with a cross at the back of the head ; the beard is 
short, the hair long and flowing. Around is the inscription : 


1 The panels of Christ and the Virgin Gallery and elsewhere, are a free develop- 
by Quentin Metsys, in the National ment of a similar scheme. 



Below we read : UOriginale d'egual grandezza creduto di Leonardo, 
trovasi nella Galleria de^ Fratelli Trivulzio a Milano. 

Fig. 21. — Miniature in the Trivulzio Collection, Milan. 

The original in question is here reproduced (fig. 21) by the 
kind permission of its owner, the Prince Trivulzio.^ 

That it is by Leonardo it would be extremely rash to assert ; 

1 I have also to thank the late M. H. de 
la Tour, of the Cabinet des Medailles, 
Bibliotheque Nationale, for the photo- 
graph from which the illustration is made, 
and for generously allowing me to antici- 
pate his publication of it. He first called 
attention to its bearing on the subject in 
Bull, de la Soc. des Ant. de Fr., 1898, 
p. 385. He there also mentions a silver- 
point drawing in the British Museum 

attributed to Leonardo, as resembling 
the head on the medals with which we 
have to deal. The drawing, however, 
cannot be by Leonardo ; apart from the 
question of its style, it is dated (in the 
top left-hand corner) 1532 ; and after 
a careful examination of it I am bound 
to say that its resemblance to the head 
on the medals seems to me to be very 



I do not find it assigned to him in any authoritative book on his 
work, and to more than one student of that painter Luinesque, 
rather than Leonardesque, seems to be the epithet most proper 
to describe its somewhat sweet effeminate beauty. 

The medal which presents exactly the same type, and which 
I shall henceforward call, for convenience' sake, the XPS ■ REX 
medal, is fairly common, and is found with more than one reverse. 
It is unnecessary to describe the obverse of these pieces again ; 
the three reverses which are known to me are — 

(i) The YHS trigram in a glory of flames (i.e. the symbol 

Fig. 22. — Medal in Mr. Maurice Rosenheim's Collection. 

especially associated with San Bernardino of Siena) ; around, 


Mr. Maurice Rosenheim's Collection. Bronze, cast, 47-5 mm. (fig. 22). 

British Museum. Bronze, cast, 47 mm. 

The letters of the YHS monogram are of Gothic form, the hasta of the h being 
crossed. In the inscription only the Y is of Gothic form ; a small cross rests on the 
bar of the H ; the first V of SALVVM is inserted ; and the letters M E are ligatured. 

(2) The dead Christ lying on the knees of the Virgin, who is 
seated before the cross ; on the left, a nimbate disciple supports 
the head of Christ ; to the right stands the Magdalen tearing 
her hair. Around, a wreath. 

British Museum. Bronze, cast, 46 mm. (fig. 23). 
Parma. 46 mm. Armand, iii, p. 149 D. 

(3) A Hebrew inscription, with which we shall deal later. 

Bronze, 44 mm. Published by L. Germain, Bull, de la Soc. Nat. des Ant. de 
France, 1898, p. 387, and Rev. de I'Art chretten, 1900, p. 424. 

It should be observed that this third reverse was not made 
specially for the obverse, but, as is clear from its smaller size, 



Fig. 23. 
Medal in the British Museum. 

was simply cast on from a specimen of the ' Hebrew medal ^ 
discussed later. It is evident enough from M. Germain's illustra- 
tion that his medal is a surmoulage or after-cast, and that he 
cannot argue from the conjunction of the two sides that the 

Latin and the Hebrew inscriptions 
mean the same thing, although that is 
in itself likely. 

At first sight one hardly considers 
the possibility that the Trivulzio mini- 
ature may itself be not an original. 
Such a possibility must, however, be 
taken into account for more than one 
reason. We know that from the latter 
half of the fifteenth century onwards 
it was the custom to copy medals in 
miniatures. The most striking in- 
stance is perhaps that furnished by 
the reproduction on the title-page of 
a manuscript in the Laurentiana, of a 
medal of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder .^ 
Another good instance is the copy of 
the reverse of Pisanello's ' Liberalitas ' 
medal of Alfonso of Aragon on the 
first title-page of Andr. Contrarius's 
' Defence of Plato '.^ Now the com- 
position of the Trivulzio miniature 
is entirely medallic in character : wit- 
ness the arrangement of the legend 
on a circular border which is broken 
by the front of the bust. The use of 
the triangular stops also points to a 
have noticed the frequent occurrence 

At the same time 

Fig. 24. — From Rouille, 
Promptuaire des Medailles. 

medallic original ; we 

of these stops in the fifteenth- century medals. 

it must be confessed that the extant medals of this type all have 

ordinary stops ; so that if the miniature was copied from a medal, 

that particular medal has disappeared. 

One of the earliest printed numismatic books is the Promp- 

1 See Miintz, Les Precurseurs, pp. 156, where other instances are given). A 
158. reproduction facing p. 424 of Miintz, 

2 Bibl. Nat., MS. Lat. 12947 (Steven- Ren. a Vepoque de Charles VIII. 
son, Me'l. deVEcolefrangaise, viii, pp. 470 f., 


tuaire des Medailles of Guillaume Rouille, the drawings for 
which were done by the artist Corneille de la Haye. Editions in 
French, Latin, Spanish, and ItaUan were printed in the same 
year, 1553. On p. 9 of the second part we find (see fig. 24) 
a medal of Christ which reproduces the same type, and is evidently 
derived from an actual medal.^ The bust is to the right, not, as in 
the medals with which we have dealt so far, to the left ; and this is 
probably due to the artist's having engraved the bust as he saw 
it on the medal to the left, forgetting that it would be reversed in 
printing. That the original medal was somewhat worn is shown 
by the treatment of the drapery on the right shoulder, where two 
folds have run together owing to wearing away of the edges. 
No reverse is shown ; but in the field is the name ' Jesus ' in 
Hebrew letters (with points), and around is the inscription 


halo consists of rays arranged in a square with incurved sides, 
suggesting a cross. 

This engraving is obviously modelled on the XPS • rex medal, 
which must therefore have been in existence some time earlier. 

This brings us to a group of medals which have been the 
subject of considerable controversy, a group which includes 
the commonest of all medals of Christ, and which, from the fact 
that the inscriptions on them are all in Hebrew, we may call the 
Hebrew group .^ The earliest literary mention of medals of this 
kind dates from 1538. 

Theseus Ambrosius Albonesius, in a book published in 1539,^ 
speaks of the forms of the ' Samaritan ' letters used by coin- 
engravers in their inscriptions, such ' as, when I was at Rome 
in the happier days of Pope Julius II, and in the time of Leo X 
his successor, I remember to have seen on bronze coins ; and last 
year an image of our Saviour cast in bronze, with Samaritan 

1 It is not superfluous to say this, be- a legendes hebraiques de la Bibliotheque 

cause many of the ' medals ' reproduced in Nationale, in Rev. Num., 1917, pp. 269- 

this book are pure inventions of the artist. 79, with a plate illustrating seven ex- 

- In dealing with this group I have amples, belonging to the varieties illus- 

had the kind assistance of my colleague trated in figs. 24 and 26 ; and by 

Dr. L. D. Barnett, without which I should L. Germain, in Rev. Num., 1919, 

have hesitated to make any decided state- pp. 89-94. 

ments about questions of interpretation ^ Introductio in Chaldaicam linguam, 

of the Hebrew inscriptions. The most Syriacam, atque Armenicam, et decern 

recent discussions of these medals are alias linguas (Pavia, 1539), fol. 21 

by S. Ferares, Les Medailles du Christ verso ff. 


letters, was shown to me by a lady, of most holy reputation, whose 
name (lest I offend her most chaste ears) I will wrap in silence, 
when she was passing through Ferrara, and was travelling by 
boat along the Po to Venice ; on the other side of which coin 
were to be seen letters cast or struck, of which the sense was as 
follows : Messiah the King came in peace, God became man, or 
incarnate '.^ 

The subsequent literature of the medal of Christ is enormous. 
It seems almost criminal to add to it ; but a sober re-statement 
of the problem seems to be required. The discussion of attempts 
to disentangle the meaning of a Hebrew inscription which is 
either blundered or wilfully distorted presents few attractions 
except to philologists. The general reader, therefore, who has 
struggled to this point, may be wise if he skips the following 
pages, and rests content with the verdict of the excellent Jobert, 
who, at the end of the seventeenth century, gave a correct estimate 
of the age of the medal in these words : ^ ' Ainsi la Medaille de 
Jesus- Christ quoy qu'elle cut pu estre faite par quelque Juif 
converti au Christianisme, est cependant une de ces Medailles 
faites a plaisir dans les derniers siecles, & dont les curieux ne 
doivent faire aucun estat.' 

It is difficult to guess what were the bronze coins which 
Albonesius once saw in Rome in the time of Julius II (1503-13) 
or Leo X (15 13-21). But of medals with the image of Christ 
with Hebrew lettering we have a choice of four or five kinds in 
our attempt to identify what he describes. Hitherto attempts 
at such identification have not been very plausible ; nothing 
that was known to have survived seemed to come very near to 
the sense of the inscription as rendered by Albonesius. Recently, 
however, a very roughly cast medal (Fig. 25) has come to light, 
differing slightly but decidedly from all others of the Hebrew 
group, which I think may be like the piece which the old scholar saw : 

(i) Obv. — Bust of Christ 1., in high relief , with a cross 

behind the head, and in front the square Hebrew letters L 

1 Messias rex venit in pace, Deus homo been taken to say that the medal of 
factus est, vel incarnatus est. Christ was itself made in Germany. 

2 La Science des Medailles, Amsterdam, But his words will not, I think, bear 
1693, p. 129. Because the author in the that interpretation ; all that he means is 
preceding passage speaks of false coins that the medal is of relatively modern 
of the Jews, struck, not many years origin. 

before he wrote, in Germany, he has 



Rev. — Inscription in good square Hebrew lettering, 

Fig. 25. Bronze, cast, 49 mm., with loop for suspension. This is in the 
possession of Dr. Thomas Henderson, whom I have to thank for permission to 
illustrate it here ; I shall refer to it henceforward as the Henderson medal. 

The inscription is perfectly straightforward and can only 
mean ' Messiah- King has come in peace, and Man-God, exalted, 
made living '. 

The point which should be noticed is that, unlike all others 
of the Hebrew group, this medal employs marks of punctuation 
after the words for ' peace ' and ' God ', and further that the ends 

Fig. 25. — Medal in the possession of Dr. Thomas Henderson. 

of two Other words are definitely marked by the final m which is used 
in the words for ' man ' and ' exalted ' ; in fact, the inscription 
is much more careful and literate than any that we shall find in 
the rest of the group. Now with the exception of the word D"i, 
which Albonesius may have found obscure, this inscription bears 
the sense that he gives. We may therefore not unreasonably 
assume that, though our medal may be — as it looks — later than 
his time, it represents a type similar to that which he saw. 

The four letters on the obverse are, I would suggest, to be 
read with the initial aleph as common to both upper and lower 

Imes thus l, f X, 1. e. | p , 

1 C^S, it is true, is rather vir than it contains two of the letters of the 
homo, but may have been used (i) in name Jesus, 
order to obtain a short word, (2) because 

1715 G 



We next come to the Hebrew medals of the kind which has 
been hitherto associated with the observations of Albonesius. 
Innumerable specimens exist, made at different times from the 
sixteenth century to the present ; but the great majority are bad 
casts of quite recent date. They are to be described as follows : 

Fig, 26. — ' Hebrew ' medals in the British Museum. 

(2) Obv. —Bust of Christ 1., exactly of the type of the XPS • 
REX medal, but without the cross ; across the field, square 
Hebrew inscription MK^* K 

Rev. — Square Hebrew inscription in five lines : 

^ The last letter is frequently made like a tod instead of a waw. 


Fig. 26, a, b, and c. Bronze and various base metals, cast ; five specimens 
in the British Museum measure from 42 to 24 mm. ; on one of the smaller the 
inscription is much blundered. In fig. 26 c the bust is rather difi'erently treated, 
and on both sides there is a narrow wreath border. In the BerUn Cabinet is a small 
pendant measuring only 21 mm. A badly-blundered specimen which was found 
in Peru, and of which there is a photograph in the Department of Coins, British 
Museum, has, incised on the obverse, the words OS NON COMMINVETIS EX EO 
(St. John xix. 36). Cf. M. Schwab in Rev. Num., 1892, p. 253, no. 30 ; S. Ferares, 
ibid., igiy, pp. 269 ff., pi. X, A-F. C. Waser (De ant. Nutnis Hebr., 1605, fol. 62 verso) 
describes a silver specimen ; and another in the same metal belonged to H. Battandier, 
Rev. de I'Art chretien, 1899, pp. 418 ff. 

This is the commonest of all medals of Christ, 

(3) A variety, unique so far as I know, was included in the 
Murdoch Collection (fig. 27).^ It is of gold, and much smaller 
than the usual size. The obverse 

differs from the others in having 
a cross at the back of the head 
of Christ (a feature borrowed from 
the XPS • REX medal) ; it has also 
been chased, and is on the whole 
the most carefully executed speci- j^.. tv/i j 1 r 1 • 1 

P 1 . 1 -^ f 111^ I'lg- 27. — Medal formerly m the 

men ot this class ot medal that Murdoch Collection. 

I have seen. The inscription on 

the reverse is, however, no better than is found on most other 

specimens of the second variety of the Hebrew medal. 

(4) Another variety of this medal, which I have recently seen, 
is of base metal, of the same size as the last, and has a wreath-border 
on both sides ; the hair is arranged in three long plaits, and the 
treatment of the features shows some attempt at characterization. 
Unfortunately it is too badly preserved to repay reproduction. 

(5) Another kind (fig. 28) has no letters on the obverse ; 
on the reverse is a different inscription in four lines 



Fig. 28. Bronze, cast, 34 mm. British Museum. Cf.M. Schwab, Rev. Num., 
1892, p. 253, no. 31 ; S. Ferares, ibid., p. 278, pi. X, x. 

The inscription on this medal means ' Jesus of Nazareth, 
Messiah, God and Man in one '.^ 

1 Sotheby's Sale Catalogue of the ^ M. Schwab's rendering, ' Jesus, 
Murdoch Collection, 1904, lot 983, Nazareen, oint de Dieu et des hommes 
PI. XXX. ensemble ', is quite unacceptable. 



It remains to consider the inscription "on'^nos. 2, 3, and 4.^ 
About the first four words there is little controversy ; they 
mean ' Messiah- King came in peace '.^ The last two words also 
offer no difficulty ; there is general agreement that they mean 
' has been made living ', i.e. incarnatus est.^ The difficulty is in 
the middle words, a complex of seven letters. On none of the 
pieces that I have seen can they be transliterated, as M. Schwab 
proposes, D1 1 J<b1X1 (for ? D^^1t<, ' in the midst of the nations '), 
and this reading may be dismissed. There is much more to be 
said for the view of Caspar Waser,^ who read the letters veor 
meadam, translating the whole of the latter part of the inscription 
et lux de homine facta est. This, however, does not give due 

Fig. 28. — Medal in the British Museum. 

force to the last word ^n (' living '). If we accept Waser's trans- 
Hteration, we should see in the words a reference to the text 
(St. John i. 4) : et vita erat lux homtnum. I confess that this 
approximation to a text of the Gospel seems to me very strong 
evidence in favour of Waser's transliteration. The distinction 
between n and n {d and r) is difficult in square Hebrew at the 
best of times ; but it is observable that on the specimen 
which M. Ferares singles out as the best written,^ the rounded 

1 It also occurs on a medallion of 
another type (see above, p. 45). 

2 Only Ferares {loc. cit., p. 272), for 
some reason, translates the verb by the 
imperative, ' viens '. 

2 Ferares maintains that the word 
""iK^y is a Rabbinic or Talmudic, rather 
than a biblical, form, and builds up on 
this foundation an elaborate theory 
which collapses, as we shall see, on 
examination. Reference to a concord- 
ance shows that "i^y is no more 
exclusively Rabbinic than factus est is 

exclusively mediaeval. |Mr. G. Mar- 
goliouth considers that the last words, 
even allowing for the fact that the 
inscription was composed by some one 
who knew but little Hebrew, can hardly 
mean ' was made incarnate ', but rather 
' came to Hfe again ', as M. Schwab 
renders it. But it is surely impossible to 
insist on such a subtlety. 

^ De antiquis Numis Hebr., 1605, 
fol. 62 verso. But the correct form is 
nix, not n«. 

^ F on his plate X. 


form of the third letter, as contrasted with the angular form of 
the sixth letter, in the complex under discussion, is distinctly 
in favour of Waser's reading Dnx^nx^ On the other hand, 
on all the other specimens the doubtful letters seem to be 
made exactly aUke, as 1. We cannot read mj< Q"1X1 (ve-adam 
adam) because on all the specimens the fourth letter has the 
medial or initial, not the final, form of m} Therefore, if we do 
not accept Waser's reading, we must divide the words X&"IX1 
D1 (or D"i). Of these two readings the former alone makes any 
kind of sense, and the reading D"i {rm) is supported by the 
inscription on the Henderson medal. It can only mean ' exalted ' 
or ' is {or was) exalted '.^ It remains to explain the form NfilX, 
with the final aleph instead of nD"tX. This aleph, Dr. Barnett 
suggests, may well be the Aramaic suffix ; to the present day 
there are to be found pieces of Aramaic side by side with Hebrew 
in such documents as marriage contracts. But it is also possible 
that it is a reUc of the word Sx, as we find it on the Henderson 
medal. It may be conjectured that the man who first made 
the model for the piece under discussion had before him an 
imperfectly preserved specimen of the Henderson type, on 

which the 7 of Sn (coming as it does at the edge) was damaged 
and obscure. He may have known a little Hebrew, not enough 
to make him supply the missing letter, but enough to make him 

(when he dropped the final 7 of 7«, and tacked the K on to the 
preceding word) alter the final form of m in that word to the 
medial form. If this conjecture be correct,, we have in our 
puzzling inscription only a broken-down version of that on 
the Henderson medal. But the interpretation of the inscrip- 
tion on Waser's lines, bringing it into relation with the text of 
St. John mentioned above, still seems to me the most plausible. 
The most recent interpretation of the inscription is also 
the most ingenious, but not for that reason the most acceptable. 
M. Ferares believes the legend to be deliberately distorted, in 
order to convey a hidden meaning by means of puns and allusions. 
Thus the last word but one, ^ISJ^y (which, as we have seen, he 
wrongly considers to be a Rabbinic or Talmudic form) can, he 
says, be read backwards as WS^'^lwo-rjs,^ one of the Hebrew 

^ In this differing from the inscrip- tradiction of Ferares' rendering, ' raises 
tion on the Henderson medal. up '. 

2 So Dr. Barnett assures me, in con- 


names of Jesus. This would suggest the subversion of Chris- 
tianity. He suspects a play of words in N^nxi ; if the author 
had intended to say ' and the earth ', n^nxni would have been 
more correct. The apparent sense of the inscription he takes 
to be ' Messiah-King, come in peace, and let the earth exalt 
him who maketh life '. But there is no reason for translating 
' come ' instead of ' is come ', and the voices which he adopts 
for the two other verbs appear to be unjustified. In his transla- 
tion, such as it is, he finds a resume of a verse of the Revelation 
of St. John (xxii. 17) : ' And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. 
And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, 
let him come : he that will, let him take the water of life freely.' 
It must be confessed that resume is an odd word to use in this 
connexion ; most readers will fail to see the slightest relation 
between the two texts. Even were the connexion established, the 
use of a reminiscence of a passage from the Revelation^ rather than 
from the Old Testament, would hardly support, as M. Ferares 
seems to imply that it does, the contention that the author was 
not a Christian. The use of Rabbinic or liturgic Hebrew which 
he professes to discover in the last word but one shows, he argues, 
that the inscription was drawn up by a learned Jew, who further 
concealed in it an anti-Catholic invocation ! If we point the 
much-discussed seven letters Qh N^^^f1, we get ' and Heathen 
Rome ', the word Edom designating the Roman Empire, which 
in the Talmud is a synonym of heathendom ; this use of Edom 
for Rome was current in the days of the Inquisition, and the 
censors often suppressed it in Jewish writings. The hidden 
sense is accordingly revealed as ' Messiah-King, come in peace, 
and (let) heathen Rome be (re-)made living ' ; in other words, 
* let the Roman Empire be revived ' by the subversion of Chris- 
tianity. That is to say, an orthodox (or forcibly converted) 
Italian Jew invokes his Messiah who shall bring about the revival 
of the Roman Empire and thereby the overthrow of the King- 
dom of Christ, whose image he wears on the other side of the 
medal ; and the medal must date from one of the periods when 
persecution under the Inquisition was at its height. It is assumed 
that to the Italian Jews the Roman Empire, as the enemy of 
Christianity, wore a favourable aspect. But is it conceivable 
that any orthodox Jew should have actually wished for the 
restoration of Pagan Rome, which to any one who thought of the 
destruction of Jerusalem must have been anathema, and through- 


out all Jewish history was a type of brutal and immoral govern- 
ment ? 

The puzzling word on the obverse of these medals also 
affords a field for the ingenuity of M. Ferares. X has been 
interpreted as an abbreviation of pIX {adon, ' Lord ') ; but, 
as he says, we might as logically regard it as the abbreviation 
of the word '^yi^ii (' I am '). )^^ is an incorrect writing of ' Jesus' ; 
it should end in y, as in Rouille's engraving (above, p. 46, 
fig. 24). He therefore rejects the interpretation of the word 
as ' Lord Jesus ' or ' I am Jesus ', and reads the letters as 
date-numerals. Thus X i, * = io, ^^ = 300, 1 = 6, making 317. 
Assuming the omission of the thousands numeral, he makes the 
equation 5317 (of the Jewish era of 3760 b.c.)=a.d. 1557. But 
he gives no explanation of the arrangement of the letters in 
their peculiar order. 

If M. Ferares is right, the Roman Jews played an extremely 
clever trick on their persecutors, inducing them to accept, and 
distribute to forcibly converted Jews, a medal which was osten- 
sibly Christian, but which bore a hidden sense, comforting the 
wearer with the hope of the destruction of the dispensation 
to which he was compelled to submit. Attractive as such a solu- 
tion of the puzzle may seem to some minds, most dispassionate 
critics will regard it as so excessively ingenious as to arouse 
suspicion. The Henderson medal, and the variety illustrated 
in fig. 28, show that the type was used with inscriptions bearing 
a perfectly straightforward sense. We have no right to look 
for a cryptic meaning in the other inscription if we can explain it 
on the assumption of clumsiness or illiteracy. 

Another speculation of M. Ferares — there is no limit to 
his ingenuity — concerns the authorship of the medal. Inciden- 
tally, he discovers that, since the word adam means ' red ', the last 
words of the inscription may also convey the sense ' it is made by 
the celebrated Rossi '. The portrait of Christ on this medal has, 
as we shall see, actually been attributed to the well-known 
medallist Giovan Antonio de' Rossi. The Rossi were one of 
the four families which claimed to have been brought to Rome 
by Titus as prisoners after the fall of Jerusalem. On numismatic 
grounds, there is no objection to the attribution, which is due to 
the late Henri de la Tour.^ He bases it on the resemblance of the 

1 Bull, de la Soc. Nat. des Ant. de Fr., by Rossi is illustrated in fig. 29 was kindly 
p. 385. The cast from which the medal sent me by M. de la Tour, 



head to that on a medal struck by order of Pius V in his sixth 
year (1571-2) ; this medal, which is signed by Rossi, I repro- 
duce (fig. 29) from the specimen in the Bibliotheque Nationale : 

Bust 1. of Jesus Christ, draped, as on the XPS ■ rex and 
other medals, but only rays (arranged cross-wise) behind the head. 
Inscription: EGO SVM lvxmvndi. Below the bust, 10 • ant • 
R • M ■ F ■ 

Rev. — Adoration of the Magi. Inscription: illvminare 
HiERVSALEM ; below, Pivs ■ V • p • M • ; below the Virgin, an • vi. 

Bibliotheque Nationale (fig. 29). Bronze, struck, 34 mm. Armand, i, p. 244, 4. 

Bonanni ^ says of a medal with this same reverse that it was 
made to celebrate the numerous conversions of Jews which 

Fig. 29. — Medal by G. A. de' Rossi, in the Bibliotheque Nationale. 

signalized the pontificate of Pius V. M. de la Tour infers from this 
that the Hebrew medals were cast at the same time and for the same 
reason ; and may, he thinks, considering the profession of faith on 
the reverse, have been meant for distribution to new converts. 

Bonanni, however, says nothing of a medal with a head of 
Christ. As he does not describe the obverse of the medal with 
the Adoration of the Magi, it is to be assumed that it was a bust 
of the Pope (probably by Federigo Parmense, as on a specimen 
in the British Museum) and not of Christ. We know that the 
dies kept in the Papal Mint were frequently combined in various 
ways ; and there is, therefore, some doubt as to whether Rossi's 
head of Christ is directly connected with the Adoration of the Magi, 
and so with the conversion of Jews, in the pontificate of Pius V. 

However this may be, there is no doubt that Rossi did 
put his signature to the somewhat banal type of Christ which 
we are discussing. The question is : when did he do it ? Was 
it in 1557, as M. Ferares would have us believe, on the ground 

^ Numismata Ponttficum, i, p. 292. 


of his interpretation of the four letters accompanying the bust ? 
Historically, there is no objection to that view.^ We know that 
Rossi came to Rome in 1544 ; his signed medals of the Popes 
Marcellus II and Paul IV are dated 1555 and 1556, but he 
went to Florence quite at the beginning of 1557, since a document 
dated January 29 of that year records a payment to him of salary 
from the duke. This date does not, of course, square exactly 
with M. de la Tour's theory of the association of the medal 
with the conversion of Jews in 1 571-2. But, as we have seen, 
the die may have been cut by Rossi for an earlier reverse 
than that with which alone it is now associated, the present 
combination being due to the authorities of the Papal Mint 
in 1 571-2. It should be observed that acceptance of M. Ferares' 
dating of the medal does not commit us to the rest of his theories. 
On the other hand, if we reject his dating, and assume that the 
combination of obverse and reverse in the medal at Paris is 
authentic, it does not by any means follow that Rossi actually 
designed the obverse of the Hebrew medal himself. Both 
obverses, Rossi's and that of the Hebrew medals, go back, 
perhaps independently, to a type which was certainly popular 
before 1553 (the date of Rouille's publication, fig. 24), and the 
finest rendering of which is seen in the XPS • rex medal. Who 
made that medal, we do not know ; but it has a certain refinement 
and dignity which make it impossible to attribute it to Rossi 
himself, whose cast medals are rather coarse and loose in treatment. 
What then was the object for which these medals were 
made ? M. Leon Germain ^ has shown that the formula 
Christus rex venit in pace, Deus homo f actus est, came into use 
towards the end of the fourteenth century, and was especially 
in vogue in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as an incantation 
against demons. For that reason it is especially common on bells 
of the time. There is nothing improbable in the theory, proposed 
by M. Germain, that these medals were made and used as charms. 
At any rate, we know that in the seventeenth century they were 
frequently met with and were commonly to be seen suspended 

1 For a sketch of Rossi's career see ^ Rev. de TArt chretien,igoo, pp. ^18 fi. 

C. von Fabriczy, Italian Medals (trans. In his most recent contribution to the 

by Mrs. Hamihon), p. 189 ; also subject (cited above, p. 47, note 2) 

V. Poggi, ' Di un cammeo di Giovan he continues to maintain his view of the 

Antonio de' Rossi ', in Riv. d' Arte, talismanic object of the medals. 
ix, 1916. 

1715 H 


to the necks of children. ^ The motive underlying this custom is 
explained by the following passage from an eighteenth- century 
numismatist : 

' I was lately asked by an honest fellow what was the meaning 
of the " penny " which his child had up to that time worn round 
his neck. His pastor had once seen it, and had said that this 
superstitious coin should not be any longer hung round the child's 
neck. His wife thought it was a charm against the falling sickness, 
and had made all her children wear it hitherto ; but if it was 
anything evil and magical, he would have it put away. I answered 
that I had never devoted myself to the explanation of Hebrew 
coins, and he ought rather to ask the pastor. Then, since the 
pastor had disapproved of the child's wearing the coin, he would be 
able to tell him the reason why he held it to be superstitious. A few 
days afterw^ards he came to me again, and reported that in reply 
to further questioning the pastor had said that it was a scandalous 
abuse of the name and likeness of Jesus Christ to suppose that 
a " penny ", on which they were found, could defend children 
from the falling sickness '.^ 

This use of the medal as an amulet is probably now obsolete ; 
but there is little to choose between the superstition which 
inspired it and the credulity which makes it worth the while 
of an enterprising firm (whose name, ne castissimas eius aures 
offendam, I suppress) to issue copies of the medal. The following 
advertisement accompanies a very bad cast-iron reproduction of 
the medal, which is, or used to be, easily procured in London, 
and seems to belong to the same school of art as the reproduction 
of the false shekel with which I have dealt elsewhere.^ 

With the CompHments of the Manufacturers : 

The Stove Co., Ltd., B'ham. 

ITjie ^iuUHtntm^ iBortrait of d^xi^t. 


THIS Medal is a facsimile of a remarkable coin made in the first century 
of the Christian era, and contains a unique portrait of the Saviour. 
The original was discovered in the Campo dei Fiori (the Jew Market) in 

1 Surenhusius, in his edition of the ^ J. D. Kohler, Munz-Belustigung, 

Mishna, quoted by Albert Way in part vi (1734), pp. 353 f. 

Archaeological Journal, xxix (1872), ^ See below, pp. 82 f. 
pp. 115 f. 


Rome. The obverse contains a portrait of Christ, the reverse side an inscrip- 
tion in Hebrew characters, which reads : ' The Saviour has reigned, he 
came peacefully ; having become the Hght of man. He lives ' (or lived). 
It is well known that the first Christians in Rome, owing to the terrible per- 
secutions to which they were submitted, were compelled often to meet 
in secret. Such a coin, it is believed, was used as a token to admit members 
to their meetings in the Catacombs, and was carried by early converts 
as a means of recognition without exchange of words. 

The ' original discovered in the Campo dei Fiori ' was 
a specimen purchased there by M. Boyer d'Agen in the spring of 
1897, and pubUshed with much pomp by its purchaser. His error 
was exposed by M. Battandier ^ and others ,2 but continues to 
flourish exceedingly. 

The bust of Christ by Rossi, which we have described above, 
cannot in any sense be regarded as an original creation. It is, 
as we have hinted, merely a poor modification of the xps • REX 
type, from which the Hebrew medal is also descended. The 
work, which is hard and uninteresting, does not excel, and is 
often surpassed by, that of numerous other medals produced, 
especially at the Papal Mint, from about the middle of the fifteenth 
century onwards. 

I describe here a certain number of these later medals. It 
would, doubtless, be easy to add to them. 

(i) Bust of Christ L, as on the xps • rex medals, but with 
circular halo at back of head. Around, inscription, lESVS • 


Rev. — Calvary ; in the centre, Christ on the cross, above 
which are the sun and moon ; to 1., the Virgin ; to r., St. John 
with hands clasped looking up. Around, Hebrew inscription, 
' Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews '. 

British Museum (fig. 30). Bronze gilt, cast, 44 mm. 

(2) Bust of Christ 1., draped, with long soft hair and beard ; 
around, inscription, ego svm via Veritas et vita.^ 

Rev. — Calvary ; in the centre, Christ on the cross between 
two thieves ; in the background, numerous horsemen ; in the 

1 Rev. de VArtchretien, 1879, pp. 418 f. admit of dispute. The character of the 

^ As H. de la Tour, E. Babelon. See Hebrew script is in itself enough to 

S. Ferares in Rev. Num., 1917, pp. 269 f. disprove its antiquity ; nor can any one 

I have not seen the brochure (' Notice who has any knowledge of the develop- 

sur la Medaille du Campo dei Fiori ') ment of style in coins and medals for 

in which M. Boyer d'Agen attempted a moment think of placing its origin 

to reply to M. de la Tour ; but the earlier than the sixteenth century, 
modern origin of the medal does not ^ St. John xiv. 6. 



foreground, on the left, the fainting Virgin with the Maries and 
St. John ; on the right, group casting lots. 

Bronze, cast. 

Milan, 89 mm. Armand, ii, p. 7, no. 2. 

Museo Nazionale, Florence, 88 mm. Supino, p. 191, no. 608. 
British Museum, 74 mm. (fig. 31). Keary, nos. 278, 279. 
[In our illustration, the obverse is given from Keary, no. 278, the reverse from 
Keary, no. 279, which is a lead cast of the reverse only.] 

Fig. 30. — Medal in the British Museum. 

Fig. 31. — Medal in the British Museum attributed to Leone Leoni. 

This, after the XPS ■ rex medal, is undoubtedly the finest of 
all the sixteenth-century medals of Christ. In the treatment of 
the profile and hair, and in the drapery, the artist shows an 
originality which places him considerably above the ordinary 
level of copyists. The medal has been attributed to Leone Leoni, 



on grounds of style, and also for the reason that the Crucifixion 
of the reverse is found associated^ with a medal of Cardinal 
Granvelle (of whom he made numerous medals). Leone Leoni 
(1509-90) was employed at the Papal Mint in Rome from 1537 to 
1540; in 1 541 he made his well-known medal of Andrea Doria, 
and from this time until his death in 1590 he was for the most 
part employed at Milan, although he made numerous journeys 
to Venice, Parma, Rome, and even out of Italy. Unfortunately, 

Fig. 32. — Medal in the British Museum. 

the attribution to him of this medal cannot by any means be 
regarded as certain, 

(3) The same type, reduced, appears on a bronze medal 
found at Castel di Sangro, and published by Lorenzo Fiocca ; ^ 
a cruciform arrangement of rays is added behind the head, and 
the inscription is • salvator • • mvndi ■ On the reverse is a 
bust of a Virgin to r., nimbate and veiled, with the inscription 
REG IN A *CAELi*. The correspondence with the type of the 

1 This argument has very little validity, ^ Rassegna d'Arte, 1913, p. 119, fig. 8. 

since obverses are constantly found Diameter, judging from the illustration, 

associated with reverses which were not 40 mm. . 
made for them or by the same hand. 


medal attributed to Leone Leoni and the whole character of the 
work make it impossible to accept Fiocca's attribution to the 
fifteenth century, much less to an artist working so early in that 
century as Amico di Bartolommeo.^ 

(4) The same type of head appears on a medallion worn by 
Pius IV (1559-65) on a bust in the Victoria and Albert Museum ; 
but as the bust is not contemporary, being a companion to one of 
Sixtus V (1585-90), this is no evidence of date. 

(5) Bust of Christ 1., as on the Hebrew medals, but the head 
surrounded by rays. Around, inscription, ego svm via Veritas 
ET VITA. At beginning and end of inscription, a leaf. 

Rev. — None. 

British Museum (fig, 32). Bronze gilt, cast, 88 mm. Keary, no. 277. Other 
specimens are in the Brera (89 mm.) and Florence (85 mm.) cabinets, and in Mr. T. W. 
Greene's Collection, with a reverse of Calvary ; so also the Lanna specimen {Catal., 
355, 89 mm.). Mr. Maurice Rosenheim has one, without reverse, set in a heavy 
moulded border, making the diameter 106 mm. The type was adapted to a rect- 
angular field on a plaquette in BerUn dated 1695 (Ital. Bronzen, no. 1310). 

The resemblance of this medal to the preceding is quite 
superficial ; it is a comparatively poor work, and belongs to the 
same type as the Hebrew medals. An attribution to Giovan 
Antonio de' Rossi is not quite out of the question. With it and 
them should be compared a crystal intaglio in the British Museum 
(Franks Bequest) with the same legend, but without the rays 
behind the head (fig. 33). ^ 

(6) In the Berlin Cabinet is a reduction (32- 5 mm.) of the 
medal just described, but of rather better style, in spite of the 
clumsy way in which the lettering passes over the rays of the halo, 
(fig. 34). On the reverse is a bust of the virgin, with the legend 


specimens of the larger medal exist with a similar reverse ? 
I doubt it, as the bust of the Virgin is not quite in the same style 
as the bust of Christ on the obverse. 

(7) In the same connexion may be mentioned a large bronze 
medallion (114 mm.) in the collection of Mr. Henry Oppen- 
heimer. The bust has no halo. Across the field are the words 

nyiB^* mn* (' Jehovah, Jesus '). On the reverse is ^^ "l'^^ ^'^^ 

.nj;i2r^ triJK n^yi (pfor ^T)^) '"^^^ ^'^^ n2:Sp ninn \±>^i 

^ An inscription shows that he was ^ Dalton, Catal. of Engraved Gems, 
working in 1422, long before the art no. 562, PI. xx. Sir C. H. Read first 
of the medal was originated by Pisanello. called my attention to this intaglio. 



Rendered word by word, this inscription would appear to mean, 
* Messiah-King has gone in peace, and Jehovah in (or by) 
a virgin to man a scion (?) has been made man Jesus '. The 

Fig- 33- — Crystal Intaglio in the British Museum, and Impression. 


Fig. 34. — Medal at Berlin. 

Fig. 35. — Medal by Cavino in the British Museum. 

general sense is clear, that God has been born of a virgin into 
the race of mankind as the man Jesus. Dr. Barnett, to whom 
I owe the interpretation, points out that the style of the lettering 
appears to be German, a suggestion borne out by the treatment 
of the bust, which is highly finished but entirely mechanical. 


The piece is later than the sixteenth century, perhaps as late as 
the eighteenth. 

(8) Bust of Christ r., of a different type from the Hebrew 
medals. Around, inscription, porvs consilii filivs.^ Signed 
on the truncation ioanes cavin. 

Rev. — The Crucifixion ; in the centre, Christ on the cross, 
with label inri ; at its foot, the Magdalen ; to the 1., the Virgin ; 
to the r., St. John. Around, inscription, omnia svrsvm tracta 


British Museum (fig. 35). Bronze, 36 mm. Zeitschr.f. Num., viii. Verhand- 
lungen, pp. 10 f. ; Armand, iii, p. 79 ; Supino, p. 117, no. 315. The British Museum 
specimen is an early cast from the struck original. 

(9) Bust of Christ 1., draped, r. hand raised in blessing. 
Around, inscription, lESVS • liberator ■ et • salvator. Signed 
on truncation 1565 • 10 an • cavinvs • pa. 

Rev. — Triple-headed figure of the Trinity seated to front, 
wearing tiara, r. hand raised in blessing ; to r. and 1., heads of 
cherubim ; below, two angels trumpeting. Inscription, devs • 
trinvs- et- vnvs. 

The illustration (fig, 36) is from modern pewter impressions from Cavino's 
original dies, which are preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Specimens 
of the medal are in the British Museum (bronze, cast, 34 mm.) and at Parma 
(Armand, i, p. 182, no. 19 ; iii, p. 79 b). On the obverse the letters ET are in mono- 

(10) Bust r. of Christ, nimbate, draped, bearded, with long 
hair. Inscription, figvra • espressa {sic) ■ svbstantiae ■ 


Rev. — The Transfiguration. Hic • est • filivs ■ mevs • dilec- 


Fig. 37. Bibliotheque Nationale (Coll. Valton), 38 mm. Armand, iii, p. 150 E. 
Attributed by Armand to Cavino. I owe the cast from which fig. 37 is made to 
the late M. Valton's kindness. 

Of the last three medals, the two former certainly, the third 
possibly, were made by Giovanni dal Cavino, of Padua (1500- 
70). They all bear but slight resemblance to the usual type, and 
are poor works of little artistic interest. 

(11) Bust of Christ, apparently derived from Rossi's medal; 
it has the same inscription (ego svm lvx mvndi) and the same 
cruciform halo behind the head. The date 1581 is placed below the 
bust. On the reverse is a plain Latin cross. It is attributed by 

1 According to Plato {Symp. 203 b) Poros (the Way) was the son of Metis 



du Molinet^ to the school of the Paduan Cavino. Bolzenthal^ 
has pointed out that the date precludes an attribution to Giovanni 
Cavino, who died in 1570, and has suggested that it may be by 
his son Vincenzo. It seems to me to show no especial resem- 
blance to the style of the Paduan school.^ 

(12) Bust 1. of Christ crowned with thorns ; on his breast, 
a medallion with a facing head. Inscription, ego • SVM ■ Lvx • 


Fig. 36. — Medal by Cavino (modern impressions from old dies). 

Fig- 37. — Medal in the Bibliotheque Nationaie (Valton Collection). 

Rev. — Christ standing, nude but for waistcloth, holding the 
cross ; in foreground, trees ; in background, towers of a city. 
Inscription, sine • ipso ■ factvm ■ est • nichil. 

Collection of Mr. Maurice Rosenheim (fig. 38). Cast, 46 mm. 
British Museum. Silver gilt, cast, 46 mm. 
Coll. Vasset. Armand, ii, p. 7, no. 3. 

In this medal we see for the first time the crown of thorns. 
It may be compared (to its advantage) with the bust on Valentin 

^ C. du Molinet, Le Cabinet de la 
Bibliotheque de Ste. Genevieve (1692), 
p. 118, no. Iv on the plate facing p. 112. 

2 Skizzen zur Kunstgesch. der modernen 

Medaillen-Arbeit (1840), p. 100. 

^ The original dies are in the Biblio- 
theque Nationaie, and I have an impres- 
sion from them before me. 




MalerVimedal which bears the inscription, ego svm via Veritas 
ET VITA, and is dated on the reverse 1583 (see below). 

The regular series of Papal medals with the bust of Christ 
seems to begin with the Jubilee of 1550. Very common (13) is 
a nimbate bust with the inscription BE at I • QVi • cvstodivnt • 


Fig- 38. — Medal in Mr. Maurice Rosenheim's Collection. 

Fig. 39. — Jubilee Medal of 1550 in the British Museum. 

Thus we find it combined with obverses of the arms of 
Cardinal Guido Ascanio Sforza (in the year of the vacancy of the 
Holy See, 1550), of the Porta Santa in the Jubilees of the same 
year under Julius III (fig. 39), and of Gregory XIII in 1575, and 
with ordinary portrait obverses of Julius III, Paul IV, Pius IV, 
Pius V, and Gregory XIII. Not only is the type the same, but 
the same die is used for medals of all the Popes mentioned. 
The Papal Mint had a practice, disconcerting to students of 
numismatic history, of making hybrid medals by attaching 
a reverse made for one Pope to obverses belonging to another ; 
and it carried this practice to the degree of altering old dies, 
or making entirely new ones, so that, when the medals struck 

^ Prov. viii. 32. 


from them are patinated by age or art, they are frequently very 
difficuh to distinguish from the originals. An almost hopeless 
confusion thus arises. At least five varieties of the medal in 
question must be condemned as ' modern strikes ', and indeed 
there is some reason to suppose that the type may really have 
first been introduced as late as 1575, and that the combinations 
with earlier obverses may be due to the activity of later mint- 
masters. As the specimen illustrated shows, the type has no 
artistic interest except as being derived — at a very long distance — 
from the XPS ■ rex medal. I therefore abstain from what 
would be a tedious classification of the varieties.^ 

Fig. 40. — Restored Medal of Paul IV in the British Museum. 

(14) The small bust of Christ, accompanied by the Hebrew 
inscription )^^ ^<, which we have already met with on the 
Hebrew medals (fig. 26), also recurs on the reverse of a medal 
struck in the first year of Pius IV (1559-65).^ The same type, 
though not from actually the same die, is found on an undoubtedly 
old medal of the Jubilee of Gregory XIII (1575). 

Another instance of the mystifications abounding in the 
Papal series is furnished by the following. 

(15) A bust (fig. 40), with rays arranged cross-wise behind the 
head, appears as the reverse to a medal of Paul IV (1555-9), 
struck from a cracked die, and without any reverse inscription. 
It has all the appearance of being copied from Rossi's medal 
of 1571-2. If this is so, the medal is a ' restitution ', i.e. struck 
after the death of the Pope whom it commemorates. If it were 
contemporary with Paul IV, which is unlikely, it would show that 
Rossi did not even invent the slight modification of the type 

^ Many will be found described in the and the Tresor de Nutnismatique, Me- 

works of Armand and in Supino's Cata- dailies des Papes (1839), and the first 

logue of the National Collection at edition of the present essay. 

Florence ; see also the earlier works of ^ Armand, iii, p. 261 BB ; Tres. de 

Bonanni {Numismata Pontificum, 1690), Num., Med. des Papes, p\. xiii. j. 



with which he has been credited.^ But the whole appearance 
of the medal indicates a comparatively modern origin. I illustrate 
it as a warning. 

(i6) Antonio Abondio (1538-96), a pupil of his father, the 
sculptor, Alessandro Abondio the Elder, and probably also of 

Fig. 41. — Medal by Antonio Abondio (British Museum). 

Fig. 42. — Medal in the British Museum. 

Leone Leoni, is responsible for an oval medal of Christ. Although 
the type differs in no essential particulars from others of the 
latter half of the sixteenth century, but reproduces the profile 
of the Hebrew medal, the piece is distinguished by the refinement 
which is characteristic of this artist, the last of the great Italian 
medallists. It exists in three varieties. That reproduced here 
(fig. 41), from a specimen in the British Museum, is of silver, 
cast and chased and gilt. It is signed an : ab : below the bust, 
and has the name NIK^* in the field behind. The head is sur- 

1 Unless Ferares is right in assigning the origin of the type to 1557 (see above, 
P- 55)- 



rounded by a halo of rays with indented edge, and wears the 
crown of thorns.^ The second variety ^ resembles the first in all 
particulars, save that it is without the crown of thorns. On 
the reverse is a beautiful composition. Christ, his hands tied, 
wearing a loin-cloth and an ample mantle fastened with a bulla 
on his breast, stands to front. About his head is a halo of the same 
shape as on the obverse ; at his feet, the nails, crown of thorns, 
and hammer. Two winged putti draw the mantle aside so as to 
show the figure ; they themselves are half concealed behind the 
column (about which is twined the cord), and the cross. The 
reed, with two sponges attached, is seen 
above the head of the putto on the left. 
The third variety ^ is similar to the 
second, save that on the obverse the 
Hebrew inscription is arranged across 
the field, as in fig. 24 above. 

(17) Another medal, which Dr. 
Habich publishes as approaching Abon- 
dio in style, is reproduced here (fig. 42) 
from a specimen in the British Museum 
(bronze, 42 mm.). On the reverse is 
represented the Fall. The bust of 
Christ on the obverse shows an attempt at originality of treatment, 
which, however, has only succeeded in producing a weak and 
sentimental expression. It has been dated to the seventeenth 
century, but the type was known by 1580 (see p. 75).* 

(18) The latest head of Christ by an ItaUan medallist that 
I shall mention is by Gaspare Mola. This artist brings us far 
into the seventeenth century. His workmanship is able, and the 
delicate, if not very strong, head which he designed oflFers 
a pleasing contrast to the aridity of the heads on most of the 
Papal medals of the time. His work can be seen on several 
medals of Urban VHI, Innocent X, and Alexander VII. A good 
specimen is the little oval pendant in the British Museum ^ here 
illustrated (fig. 43), with the busts of Christ and the Virgin 

Fig. 43. — Pendant by Gasparo 
Mola in the British Museum. 

^ Another specimen at Berlin {I talien. 
Bronzen, no. 1253 on pi. LXXIV). 

2 Published by Habich in Helbing's 
Monatsbertchte, i, p. 404, pi. iii. 4, 5. 

^ E. Fiala, Ant. Abondio, pi. VI. 7. 
A specimen at Berlin {Ital. Bronzen, 

no. 1 25 1 on plate LXXIV) seems, to 
judge from the illustration, to have no 
Hebrew inscription at all. 

* A specimen at Berlin {Ital. Bronzen^ 
no. 13 11) is ascribed to that period. 

^ Presented by Mr. Max Rosenheim. 


(silver-gilt, 29 by 23 mm.). But it cannot be denied that the 
work of Mola is lacking in real originality, and is only rendered 
attractive by his skilful technique. 

It would be tedious to dwell longer on these works of 
a decadent art. The fact is that the Italian medallists were 
unable to improve upon the XPS • rex type, and therefore, with 
exceptions such as that doubtfully attributed to Leone Leoni, 
were content to leave the subject alone, or to produce mere 
mechanical imitations. 

In dealing with the medals of the sixteenth century we have 
so far confined ourselves to pieces of Italian origin. To discuss 
in detail the treatment of our subject by German artists would 
take us too far afield ; I must confine myself to mentioning 
a few remarkable pieces.^ 

First in importance is a medal attributed to the well-known 
artist Peter Flotner of Nuremberg.^ It should, perhaps, have 
been mentioned at an earlier stage in this investigation, for, as we 
shall see, it shows traces of derivation from Matteo de' Pasti. 

Obv. — Bust of Christ r., draped, with small upstanding locks 
in the middle of the forehead, hair in long curls on the shoulders ; 
beard fairly short and curly. x\bove is the holy dove. The field 
is filled by an inscription : on 1., ICH bin | das lem | lein das! 

DER WE I LT SVND | TREGT 10 | HANES | AM ; and on r., I ■ CAPT | 

XI 1 1 1.3 Above is incised cristvs, and at the end of the legend 
p- F. 

This obverse (fig. 44, left) is found with more than one 

(i) Bust of the Pope to left, with a devil clinging to his 
tiara : inscription, on 1., so bin | ich das | kindt | der t ve | 

1 I am indebted for much information Peter Flotner (1897) ; E. Merzbacher, 
about this portion of the subject to my Beitrdge zur Kritik der deutschen Kunst- 
friends the late Mr. Max Rosenheim, medaillen (Munich, 1900), pp. 4ff. ; 
whose knowledge of German medals and, summing up all recent research, 
was unrivalled, and his brother Mr. G. Habich, Deutsche Medailleure, pp. 
Maurice Rosenheim, who maintains so 10 1 ff. 

genially the fine tradition of a splendid ^ i. e. * I am the Lamb that taketh 

collection. away the sin of the world ' (John i) ; 

2 Flotner died in 1546. On his medals ' No one cometh unto the Father but 
see Domanig, Jahrh. d. kunsthist. Samm- by me ' (John xiv). 

lungen, Vienna, xvi (1895) ; K. Lange, 



RDERB I NVS | VND | DER SV | NDEN | SAGT | SANT; and on r., PAVLI \ 
Munich Cabinet, lead, 60 mm. Merzbacher, pi. I. i. 

(2) Crucifixion with many figures. In exergue, inscription : 


GLAVBEN - I HAB - DAS - EWIG - LEBE • | • K ■ O • S.^ 

Berlin (fig. 44, right). Silver, 60 mm. 

(3) Bust of Luther. See Merzbacher, p. 7, with note. 

Fig. 44. — Medal with obverse signed by Peter Flotner, in the Berlin Museum, 

Of these, the third certainly is by another hand, and need 
not concern us. The second also is probably not by Flotner ; ^ 
but the first, although the whole specimen is an exceedingly rough 
cast, seems to be quite homogeneous in style with the obverse. 
It is, however, the obverse ^ with which we are concerned. 

Although incised, the word CRISTVS and the signature p • F ■ 
(on which the attribution to Flotner is based) were, according 
to Dr. Domanig, not incised after the casting of this specimen, but 
existed in the model from which it was cast. 

^ i.e. ' I am the son of perdition and the 
man of sin, saith St. Paul in the second 
Epistle to the Thessalonians.' 

2 i.e.' As Moses lifted up the serpent, 
even so must the Son of Man be lifted 
up : that whosoever believeth in him may 
have eternal life ' (John iii. 14). 

^ It is found combined with an un- 
signed obverse (dated 1538) representing 

the elevation of the brazen serpent. 

^ Merzbacher mentions a specimen of 
the obverse alone (with a wreath-border) 
which passed from the Felix Collection 
into his own. A leaden cast of the head 
alone exists, as Dr. Regling informed 
me, in the sculpture collection at Berlin 
(among the Italian Bronzes, 1307). 


Lange has pointed out that the head shows decided Italian 
influence. He remarks that the medal of Pasti, and certain 
plaquettes of the school of the Lombardi (e.g. in the BerUn 
Museum), show almost exactly the same type and may be 
regarded as models of the head on the medal. That a specimen of 
the head itself, cut out, was placed amongst the Italian plaquettes 
in the Berlin Museum is significant of its resemblance to the 
Italian works of this kind. After a reference to certain large 
bronze reliefs of Venetian origin with the facing bust of Christ, 
which come near to the type, he remarks that it was very popular 
in Germany in the sixteenth century, as is proved by the many 


Fig. 45. — Medal of Count Thomas of Rheineck, by F. Hagenauer, in the 

British Museum. 

silver-gilt pendants with the same profile head, in slightly varied 
form.. To this point we shall return. 

The next German medal is very different in character, 
although of almost exactly the same date. 

Bust of Count Thomas of Rheineck 1., with fur mantle and 
cap. Inscription giving his titles as sub-dean and dean of the 
churches of Cologne, Mainz, and Strassburg. 

Rev. — Bust of Christ 1., in mantle, with pointed beard, long 
hair, and radiate cross. Around, inscription, * Dvs • lESVS ■ crist • 


British Museum (fig. 45). Lead, 36 mm. 

See Num. Chr., 1904, p. 47, pi. v. 3 ; Jahrb. d. k. pretiss. Kunstsammlungen 
xxviii (1907), Tafel M. i. 

This medal is attributed by Dr. Julius Cahn to F. Hagenauer, 
and dated between 1538 and 1546, and the attribution is accepted 
by Dr. Habich (who likewise attributes it to the master's 
Cologne period, 1535-46). In the treatment of the hair, and to 
a slight extent in the profile, the head of Christ betrays the 
influence of the ' Salvator ' medals, but otherwise it may be 



classed with the ordinary sixteenth-centur}^ ItaHan types. Thus 
the cross at the back of the head connects it with the XPS • rex 
medal, whereas the style of the beard is closer to the poorer work 
of the Hebrew medals. 

The influence of the Hebrew medals is distinctly perceptible 
in a piece made at least as late as the end of the sixteenth century, 
and of Viennese origin. 

Bust of Christ 1., draped. ' Inscription, salvator mvndi. 
The whole in wreath. 

Rev. -Arms on two shields : (i) Double-headed eagle, 
crowned and displayed ; in- 
escutcheon, a cross. (2) Cross. 
Inscription, mvn + r p + vienn. 
The whole in wreath. 

British Museum (fig. 46). Gold, 
enclosed in an open-work enamelled 
border, with modern loop for suspension. 
Size (without border), 38 mm. 

An anonymous German 
silversmith (probably of the 
Joachimsthal school) is re- 
sponsible for a shop-piece which 
shows a bust inspired by the 
Hebrew medals, inscribed XPS : 
HOMO • FACTV(S EST). On the 
reverse is the Visitation.^ 

We next come to two medals of the middle of the sixteenth 

Bust of Christ 1., in high relief, with long beard, pendent 
moustache, hair in long curls on shoulders ; behind the head, 
lozenge-shaped halo. Inscription, salvator mvndi christi 
MISERER. The whole in wreath. 

Rev.- -The Agnus Dei r.j with cross and banner. Inscription, 



Mr. Maurice Rosenheim's Collection (fig. 47). Silver-gilt, 34 mm., with ring 
for suspension. Cast and chased. A variety at Berlin is undated, and shows the 
lamb's head reverted. 

1 Erbstein Catal., i (1908), no. 554, ber of other medals of Christ, unfor- 
pl. 16. This collection contained a num- tunately for the most part unillustrated. 

1715 K 

Fig. 46. — Medal in the British 



Bust of Christ of similar type, but facing, and holding 
orb surmounted by cross. Inscription, salvator mvndi christi 
MIS. The whole in wreath. 

Fig. 47. — Medal in Mr. Maurice Rosenheim's Collection. 

Rev, — The Agnus Dei r., head reverted, with cross and 
banner. Inscription, agnvs dei qvi tollis pcta mvndi 1551. 
The whole in wreath. 

Mr. Maurice Rosenheim's Collection (fig. 48). Silver, 25 mm., with ring for 
suspension. Struck. 

Possibly there may be other varieties of the profile type which 

Fig. 48.— Medal in Mr. Maurice 
Rosenheim's Collection. 

Fig. 49. — Medal in the British 

bear out Lange's remarks. But so far as Mr. Rosenheim's larger 
medal is concerned, the variation from the type represented by 
Pasti, and even by the Salvator medal of the Berlin Museum, 
is not slight ; the treatment of profile, hair of the head, beard 
and moustache, and drapery, is totally different, and I see 
absolutely no trace of Italian influence, direct or indirect.^ 

On the other hand, so far as regards Italian influence of 
a general kind, Lange's statement is borne out by a certain number 
of pieces, such as the variety of the Agnus pendant which I illus- 
trate here (fig. 49). On the obverse we have an Italianizing bust 
of Christ with the legend ego svm via Veritas et vita. On 

1 Dr. Regling informed me that among Berlin, there is absolutely nothing which 

the many other German medals, &c., has any relationship with the Flotner 

with heads of Christ in the Coin-cabinet type of head, 
and Collection of Christian Sculpture at 



the reverse, the Agnus Dei, with head facing, and the legend 


Italian influence is also plainly visible on a certain class of 
pendants, very different from those represented by Mr. Rosen- 
heim's specimens. The examples ^ next to be described are in 
the Munich Cabinet. 

The first (fig. 50) is a medal of Johann Schmauser, Abbot of 
Ebersberg (1584-90).- The obverse is an unskilful copy of the 
bust and legend of the XPS ■ rex medal. The lettering is 
somewhat blundered : thus the n's are reversed : we have lt 

Fig. 50. — Medal of Johann Schmauser of Ebersberg, at Munich, 

for ET, and lOMO for homo ; and the engraver, having miscal- 
culated his space, has not been able to complete the inscription. 
On the reverse are the arms of the foundation (a boar walking 
up hill) and of the Abbot (a chalice) with mitre and crozier, 
and the letters 1 A (for lohannes Abbas). The devices on both 
sides are enclosed in rude wreaths. 

A second medal of the same Abbot (fig. 51) copies on the 
obverse the head of Christ from the medal with the Temptation 
of Adam (p. 68), placing the letters 1 HS XPS across the field. But in 
adopting this type the Abbot was simply following his predecessor 
Sigismund Kundlinger, who is represented by a piece on the 
reverse of which are the Abbot's arms, his name sigismvndvs- 
ABBAS • IN ■ EBERSPERG, and the date 1580.=^ The same head was 
used by an Abbot of Attel (probably Engelbert I, 1 573-1 603) on 

1 Casts of these were supplied by the bayerisches Archiv fur vaterldnd. Gesch.y 

late Professor Riggauer and his sue- vol. xxvi (Munich, 1865-6), No. 51, 

cessor in the directorship of the Munich p. 363. 
Cabinet, Dr. Habich. ^ Beierlein, op. cit., vol. xv (1854), 

^ Published by Beierlein in Ober- pi. 2, no. 43. 



a silver medal, on the reverse of which are engraved his arms and the 
arms of the foundation with mitre and crozier and the initials E • A.^ 
The medallist Valentin Maler (who worked in Nuremberg, 
Augsburg, and elsewhere from 1563 until after 1596) produced 
a medal with a neat but quite uninspired head of Christ derived 
from the Hebrew medals (fig. 52, pewter). The inscription on 
the obverse (which is signed vm) is domin(vs) regit me et 
NIHIL Ml HI deerit (Ps. xxii. i). On the reverse is an elaborate 
allegory of the Church (s. eclesia) between the kneeling figures 
of Poverty (inopia) and Gratitude (gratitvdo), with the legend 


Fig. 51. — Medal of Johann Schmauser of Ebersberg, at Munich. 

inebri(ans) qva(m) pr>^c(larvs) est (Ps. xxii. 5). On a tablet 
under the figure of the Church is XPS • LVC • 2 • , and the whole 
is signed v.M. c(vm) privi(legio) c>e(saris), indicating the 
artist's possession of a patent from the Emperor. 

Similar in composition, though better conceived and modelled, 
is the head of Christ on a medal made by Valentin Maler for Ulrich, 
Abbot of Zweth, in 1597.^ But Maler 's best treatment of the subject 
is on a piece executed in 1583 (fig. 53). The bust of Christ, which 
is crowned with thorns, is not merely accomplished but dignified ; 
the inscription is ego svm via Veritas et vita. The artist's 
initials vm are incised on the truncation of the bust, and he has 
added the words c(vm) pri(vilegio) c>e(saris). On the reverse 
is a nude Christ, with the cross resting on his shoulders ; the 
inscription (from Isaiah) is et livore eivs sanati svmvs esa. 53, 
and the note c • pri • c • is repeated with the date 1583.^ 

1 Ihid., no. 44. kunde, i, p. 107. 

2 E. Fiala, Antonio Abondio (Prag. ^ Specimens in the Erbstein Cata- 
1909), p. 50, no. 96, pi. X. 10. Habich in logue, i (1908), no. 558, pi. 11 (48 mm.), 
Archiv fur Medaillen- und Plaketten- and in the Victoria and Albert Museum. 



This must suffice as an indication of the treatment of the 
subject by German medalHsts. It could only be exhausted by 
some one enjoying access to German collections. What we have 
seen, however, and what we know of German medallic work 
of the later sixteenth century, make it fairly certain that search 
in those quarters would not reveal anything original in treatment 
or conception. 

Fig. 52. — Medal by Valentin Maler, in the British Museum. 

Fig. 53. — Medal by Valentin Maler, in the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

The study of the medals of Christ has introduced us to one 
or two works of art of good quality, and a great crowd of medio- 
crities, for which the description ' shoddy ' is hardly too strong. 
It confirms the experience which may be gathered from other 
fields, that the influence of the devotional spirit, after the primi- 
tive stages of artistic development have been passed, is, if not 
precisely inimical, at least not actively favourable to good art. 
Religious medals, considered as a whole, may be placed on the 
same artistic level as hymns. But like hymns, apart from their 
devotional aspect, they have a certain interest which makes them 
a fitting, if modest, subject for investigation. 



THE medals of Christ with a Hebrew inscription, described 
in the preceding essay, are admirable instances of the 
eagerness with which the pious-minded will accept as 
ancient anything which pretends to be a monument of Biblical 
history. The forgeries with which we are now to deal owe their 
unfailing popularity to the same tendency. They cannot have been 
a profitable fraud ; but every numismatist knows that the forger 
by no means always works for a material gain. The passage 
quoted at the end of this essay shows that his intentions may be 
highly moral, even when he is not merely displaying his art for 
the fun of the thing. 

In order to appreciate the fraud, it is necessary first to 
acquaint ourselves with the genuine Jewish shekel. We need 
not here enter on the vexed question of the exact date of the 
famous series of Jewish shekels and half-shekels, bearing the dates 
of five consecutive years. Suffice it to say that while they have 
long been traditionally attributed to the time of the revolt of 
Simon Maccabaeus, the theory which is now most generally 
accepted ascribes them to the time of the first revolt against 
Rome, which lasted from spring, a.d. 66-7, to autumn, a.d. 70-1.^ 
The types of all these coins are the same (fig. 54) : on the 
obverse, a cup with (on all but the coins of the first year) a pearled 
border round the rim ; on the reverse, a flowering lily. The 
coins of the first year have a cup with a plain rim. The obverse 
of the shekels is inscribed in ancient Hebrew characters Shekel 
Israel (' Shekel of Israel ') ; while above the cup is a date 
expressed by one of the first five letters of the alphabet, accom- 
panied (after the first year) by the initial of the word shenath 
(' year '). The inscription of the reverse of the shekel is Yeru- 

1 A full account of the coins is given fact, which has recently come to light, 

in the British Museum Catalogue of that a specimen of the coinage has been 

Greek Coins, Palestine (19 14). The discovered in a deposit of the time of 

Maccabaean date has still a number of the First Revolt. See Revue Biblique, 

supporters, but they are faced by the April 1914, pp. 234 ff. 



shalayim ha-kedoshah (' Jerusalem the Holy ') in all years but the 
first, which has the ' defective ' form, Yerushalem kedoshah. 

The half-shekels resemble the shekels, except for the obverse 
inscription, which is merely hatsi ha-shekel (' half-shekel '). 


Fig. 54. — Genuine Jewish Shekels and Half-shekels. (British Museum.) 

The weights of these coins are : of the shekel, about 220 
grains troy ; of the half-shekel, about no grains troy. That 
is to say, they belong to the standard in use in the cities of 
Phoenicia, such as Tyre and Sidon, and generally known as the 
' Phoenician '. What should especially be noticed in the coins 
is the form of the letters, which are clearly distinct from modern 
square Hebrew, and the peculiar, thick, dumpy fabric. It is not 



uncommon for Jews, when their knowledge of the language is 
only sufficient to be dangerous, to deny the Jewish origin of the 
coins because the letters are strange to them. 

The Second Revolt against Rome (a.d. 132-5) also produced 
a certain number of shekels .^ The Jews took the current coins 
of the country— imperial Roman denarii and drachms and four- 
drachm pieces of the local provincial mints such as Antioch — 
and re-struck them with their own types. Out of the four- 
drachm pieces they made shekels with the representation of a build- 
ing with fluted columns and a podium, perhaps meant for the 
Temple which Simeon intended to restore.^ Attached to this as 

reverse type are a lulab and 
ethrog (i.e. the bundle of twigs, 
&c., and the citron which were 
carried at the feast of Booths). 
On the obverse is the name 
Simeon, on the reverse Lech- 
eruth Yerushalem (' the deliver- 
ance of Jerusalem ') (fig. 55). 
The Simeon of these coins is either the false Messiah, Simon Bar 
Cochba (' son of the star '), the chief leader of the revolt against 
Rome, or, more probably, Simeon III son of Gamaliel II, 
president of the Sanhedrin, who died about a.d. 163.^ 

This shekel (which occurs in various slightly modified forms) 
has not been imitated like the earlier one, and therefore need 
detain us no longer. 

The imitations of the earlier shekel fall into two classes, 
according as they are intended to deceive the more or less experi- 
enced collector or the general public. Some of the former merely 

Fig. 55. — Shekel of the Second Revok. 

1 A detailed account of the two classes 
of shekel will be found in the British 
Museum Catalogue cited above. 

2 This is Professor A. R. S. Kennedy's 
suggestion ; he points out that the Jews 
of the third century conceived the Temple 
more or less in this style (see Encycl. 
Bibl. iv. 4394). He points out, in rejec- 
tion of the theory of Rev. Edgar Rogers 
(which recognizes in the type the four 
pillars for the veil of the Holy of Holies, 
with a conventional rendering within of 
the Ark and Mercy Seat) that the details 
suggest a building of stone. The type 

until recently was usually described as 
the Golden Gate of the Temple. 

^ Professor Kennedy interprets Nasi 
(the title borne by Simeon on many of 
the coins) as meaning president of the 
Council at Jamnia, and adds ' had the 
Simeon of the Second Revolt been the 
head of the Rabbinic College there, his 
name would have been preserved in 
Jewish tradition along with that of his 
supporter, Rabbi Aqiba. Simeon was 
probably a secular leader who had the 
title Nasi, Ezekiel's favourite term for the 
Messianic Ruler of the new age '. 


take the shape of casts (the originals, of course being struck from 
dies). Others are actually struck from forged dies, and of these 
a good example is the piece made by one of the most notorious 
forgers of ancient coins, Carl Wilhelm Becker (i 771-1830). 
Becker probably achieved his most brilliant results with Roman 
coins, and, but for the fact that his dies were preserved, some of 
his productions in this line might pass for genuine among the 
most experienced numismatists. But most museums possess 
and use for comparison a series of impressions made from his 
dies, and from such an impression I reproduce a Jewish shekel 
of the second year (fig. 56). It is by no means one of his best 
works. The clumsiness of the lily, the misunderstood foot of 
the cup, the mean rendering of the letters, and the whole style of 
the coin make it impossible to mistake 
it for an antique. Forgers of the 
present day can do better than this. 

The imitation of the shekel which 
forms the subject of One of the Thirty ^ 
an absurd book written by Hargrave 
Jennings and published in 1873, is Fig. 56.— Becker's forgery of 
made from a shekel of the first year, the Jewish shekel, 

with clumsy rendering of lettering 

and type (only the side with the chalice is figured). The coin is 
represented as about ij inch in diameter, and described (p. 348) 
as being of the size of a crown piece : 

' an old-old-OLD Coin of the size of a crown-piece ; dusk — 
nay, dark. Dark, even black, as with the occult clouds of the 
wonders of eighteen centuries — yet hiding deep-down in its 
centre the intolerable possible spark of an immortal magic fire.' 

The figure which Jennings gives in illustration of his effusion is 
only one of the most recent of a long series of clumsy representa- 
tions of what may have been a true shekel. Any one who takes 
the trouble to wade through the interminable literature ^ with 
which the Biblical antiquaries and critics have encumbered this 

1 The worst engraving of this piece is tatum Hebraicarum (Venice, 1765) deal 

also the earliest known to me : a piece with the subject. The only writer in the 

of the second year, in G. Postel, Lin- volume who shows much critical sense 

guarum duodecim Alphabetum (Paris, is Herman Conring, in his Paradoxa de 

1538). It is reproduced below, fig. 61. NummisHebraeorutn. Hargrave Jennings's 

Most of the writers in the twenty-eighth illustration,tojudgefromthe quotation on 

volume of Ugolinus's Thesaurus Antiqui- the page following his title, was probably 

1715 L 


subject will find plenty of representations of the same kind, often 
side by side with the obvious forgery with which we shall now deal. 
Every numismatist is familiar with the pieces, generally 
roughly cast in more or less poor silver, which are passed off as 
genuine Jewish shekels (fig. 57). The inscriptions are the same 
as those which we find on the genuine coins, except that they are 
in modern square Hebrew, and that no date is given. The types 
approximate to those of the true coin ; but instead of the lily 
with three flowers we have a branch with many leaves ; and the 
chalice is replaced by an object apparently meant, to judge by 
the fumes arising from it, for a pot full of incense.^ No one who 

Fig, 57. — The ' Censer Shekel ' (British Museum). 

has seen the genuine struck shekel could for a moment be deceived 
by this cast piece. Nevertheless, so few people take the trouble 
to test the truth of what is told them about Biblical antiquities 
that tradesmen still find it worth their while to offer for sale 
facsimiles of these impostures. Before me is an atrociously bad 
cast facsimile which is or was until recently sold by one of the 
largest firms of general dealers in all London, together with the 
following printed description : 


This is a facsimile of a genuine Shekel (called in the Bible ' a piece 
of silver '), coined by Simon Maccabaeus, who was King of the Jews, 
B.C. 172-142. 

It was issued in the year B.C. 170. It is, therefore, now 2,068 years old. 

For thirty ' pieces of silver ' Judas betrayed our Lord. The Hebrew 
inscriptions on the obverse and reverse mean ' Shekel of Israel ' and 
' Liberator of Jerusalem ', and the designs represent the pot of manna 
and Aaron's rod that budded. 

made from Bened. Arias Montanus censer-pieces, although so far as I know 

(1527-98), whose Ephron, sive de Siclo a vessel like this, chalice-shaped and with- 

is reproduced in Pearson's Critici Sacri, out cover or chains, was not used for 

vol. viii, 1660, p. 657. burning incense in any ritual, Jewish or 

1 Accordingly I call these forgeries Christian. 


Quite apart from the initial error of supposing the original 
of this facsimile to be a genuine Jewish shekel, this short para- 
graph is well worth study for the other misrepresentations com- 
pressed into it. The date of Simon's election to the leadership 
of the Jews is generally supposed to be 143-142 B.C. Unless, 
therefore, the worthy person who compiled the paper has other 
information, I am inclined to think that he has been misled by 
some comparative table of eras, in which the Seleucid year 170 
corresponds to the year 143-142 B.C. It would be interesting to 
know how he ascertains the exact year in which the coin was 
issued, since it bears no regnal date. The translation ' Liberator 
of Jerusalem ' is also new, and may have been suggested by the 
legend ' Deliverance of Jerusalem ' found on some other coins. 
At the end of all this it would have been surprising indeed to miss 
the identification of the types as the pot of manna and Aaron's 
rod that budded.^ The implication that the ' thirty pieces of 
silver ' were of this kind was also inevitable ; but the history of 
this matter requires an essay to itself. 

Writing in 1859 ^ the late Sir John Evans called attention to 
an ill-fabricated copy of the spurious shekel, which was on sale 
in London, and described as ' a correct copy and representation 
of the old Hebrew money . . . current during the lifetime of our 
Saviour, for thirty pieces of which He was betrayed by Judas 
Iscariot '. This was evidently a predecessor of the piece just 

M. A. Levy,^ again, a few years later, says that the com- 
monest of the forgeries of the Jewish shekel is a piece exactly 
corresponding to the one we have described. He mentions other 
forgeries, but we may for the present confine ourselves to this, 
the most important — that is, the one which has made most 
victims. Let us trace its history backwards. We find it in 
Erasmus Frolich's work on the Syrian kings, published in 1754/ 
among the ' modern Hebrew coins ', which he gives as a warning 
to collectors. He says that he has seen many specimens, varying 
in metal, weight, &c., but all manifestly false and modern. He 

1 This is the traditional but unfounded forgeries of Jewish coins is translated at 

explanation of the types of the true length by Madden, Coins of the Jews 

shekel. (1881), pp. 314 f. 

^ Numismatic Chronicle, vol. xx, p. 8, ^ Annales Regum et Rerum Syriae 

note 2. (Vienna, 1754), pi XIX (no. v), and 

^ Jiidische Miinzen (1862), p. 163. Prolegomena, p. 92. 
The section of Levy's work relating to 



Fig. 58. — Waser's Half-shekel. 

supposes that they are due to an unsuccessful attempt to imitate 
the true shekels. In J. Leusden's Philologus Hebraeo-mixtus ^ 
it is also illustrated, this time as a genuine shekel ; the types 
are explained as an incense-cup and Aaron's rod ; and the 
branch is represented as if it were growing up out of a mound. 
In 1 67 1, a specimen was included in a parcel of coins which 
was deposited in the ball of the spire of St. Nicholas Church in 

Brian Walton, Bishop of Chester, also occupied himself 
with shekels,^ and has illustrated two specimens of our piece, 

one of silver, the other of bronze : 
illustrations which he borrowed 
from J. Morin.* 

The work of Caspar Waser ^ on 
ancient Hebrew coins was known 
to Leusden. It is surprising, there- 
fore, that the genuine shekel, which 
is tolerably well represented by 
Waser (pp. 59 f.), should be ignored 
by the later author. Waser does 
not represent the false shekel with 
the censer, but it is worth while to 
glance at his method of dealing 
with Hebrew coins. On p. 77 and 
elsewhere he illustrates what (read- 
ing hastily) one would take to be a half-shekel of the second 
year (fig. 58), a one-third-shekel of the third year (fig. 59), and 
a quarter-shekel of the fourth year. The peculiarity about these 
illustrations is that while the types and legends are as well 
represented as in the case of the whole shekel, the letter shin 
(initial of shenath, year) is omitted before the numeral. Now, 
the only genuine shekels and half-shekels on which this initial 
is absent are those of the first year. Waser betrays himself 
when he comes to the one-third-shekel (p. 78). Of the exis- 
tence of this as a coin we have no evidence ; but Waser says : 
' It is probable that the types and symbols of this coin were 

Fig. 59. — Waser's One-third-shekel. 

1 4th ed., 1739, p. 207. 
- Zeitschrift fiir Numismatik, vi, p. 139. 
3 Introductio ad lectionem Linguarum 
Orientalium (London, 1655), pp. 30 ff. 
* Exercitationes Ecclesiasticae in utrum- 

que Samaritanorum Pentateuchum (Paris, 
163 1), pp. 208-9. 

^ De antiquis numis Hebraeorum, &c., 
Zurich, 1605. 



the same as those of the whole shekel, so I figure it here with 
the same types, but with this different inscription on the 
reverse : shelishith hasshekel Israel^ third of the shekel of Israel.' 
He does not commit himself to any statement that the coin 
exists ; but ' it pleases him ' to represent it — ' quare libet etiam 
eisdem (notis et symbolis) eum figuratum hie exhibere '. In 
the same spirit he has invented and figured the half-shekel 
and quarter-shekel ; for, although half-shekels exist, there is no 
doubt, from his mistake in the representation of the date, that 
he had never seen a real one.^ Indeed, he admits (p. 71) that 
all the many shekels he had ever seen had the letter aleph over the 

Fig. 60. — From Villalpandus. 

cup, i.e. were of the first year ; and it is a curious fact that by far 
the greater number of the illustrations in works of this time 
represent the shekel of this year. It seems that Waser, like Arias 
Montanus before him, regarded the aleph as the indication of the 
unit (one shekel), and therefore systematically marked his half- 
shekel with a beth, his third with a gimel, and his quarter with 
a daleth^ 

To return to the track of the false shekel. Villalpandus,^ 
a year before Waser, published a plate representing a number 
of Jewish coins, including shekels of which we have no reason 
to doubt the authenticity, and also one of the censer-pieces 
(fig. 60). He insists that all these pieces, without exception, are 
struck : ' which is so certain and clear upon examination, that 
should any one attempt to deny it, he would prove beyond all 

^ The nature of Waser 's method was ac Tetnplt Hierosolymitani, tome iii, 

recognized by J. Morin {op. cit., p. 207). 
' Waser's parts of the shekel seem not to 
be genuine, but invented to represent 
the fractions of which mention is made 
in the sacred Scriptures.' 

^ J. B. Villalpandus, Apparatus Urbis 

parts I and 2 (Rome, 1604), p. 390, 
recognized the inadequacy of Montanus's 
explanation, but proposed a worse one 

3 Op. cit., plate facing p. 378 ; see also 
p. 390. 


dispute that he was so lacking in knowledge of coins as to be 
unable to distinguish or separate struck coins from such as are 
cast or made by any other means.' In the face of such condemna- 
tion, one hesitates to assert that Villalpandus was mistaken in 
regard to the censer-piece ; but his experience, so far as I can 
discover, is unique. He admits that some doubt has been 
thrown on the piece ; but while he allows that it is somewhat 
later than the others which he illustrates, bearing letters of an 
older form, he still maintains that it is ancient. 

This is the earliest numismatic publication of this mysterious 
piece that I have been able to find ; but there is clear evidence 
that something of the kind existed at a fairly early date in the 
sixteenth century. Writing on March 21, 1552, to George HI, 
Prince of Anhalt, Philip Melanchthon says : ^ 

' I now send you a silver shekel of the true weight of the shekel, to wit, a tetra- 
drachm, with the inscription as it is depicted in the book of Postellus. I also add some 
verses, interpreting the rod of Aaron and the pot of incense. . . . 


lusta sacerdotum demonstrat munera Siclus 

Cuius in Ehraeis urbibus usus erat. 
Ut sint doctrinae custodes, virga Aharonis, 

Utque regant mores cum pietate, monet. 
Significantque preces calicis fragrantia thura,^ 

Praecipuum munus sunt pia vota Deo,' &c. 

The poem also appears in^the collected poems of Melanch- 
thon ^ in a considerably modified form ; lines 5 and 6, for 
instance, read : 

Parte calix alia est impletus thure Sabaeo, 
Hie offerre preces, ut nova thura, iubet. 

The verses are quoted by Waser to show that Melanchthon 
considered the chalice on the shekel (the true shekel, as he thinks) 
to be not the pot of manna, but a censer. Waser is justified in 
thinking this, since in the book of Postel, to which we have referred 
above, the piece is undoubtedly a true shekel or a close imitation 
(fig. 61). But neither Postel nor Waser seems to have known of 
the forgery with the censer. Melanchthon, admirable scholar 
as he was, lived before the days of scientific numismatics ; and if 
he had one of the censer-pieces before him, we shall not be unjust 

^ Bretschneider, Corpus Ref or matorum, vol. vii, p. 964. 
2 See below, p. 87, on this symbol of prayer. 
^ Op. cit., vol. X, p. 607. 



in supposing that he would identify it with the shekel as repre- 
sented by Postel. Otherwise it is difficult to understand how he 
could imagine that a censer was represented. 
* ' jMelanchthon's letter is thus evidence that the censer-shekel 
existed as early as 1552. 

Another witness, professing to date from a still earlier period, 
is unfortunately not unimpeachable. In the Uffizi at Florence 
is a painting 1 attributed to Lucas van Leyden, representing Christ 
with the instruments of the Passion. In this, the thirty pieces of 
silver are very clearly represented as thirty of our censer-shekels. 
Though older authorities, such as Evrard,^ may have 
accepted the picture as genuine, later critics have 
been less generous ; and it seems to be impossible 
to rely on it as evidence for the existence of the 
censer-pieces in the time of Lucas (who died about 

It is just possible that the smoking censer of 
these shekels may have suggested the similar vessel 
which, as a symbol of prayer (' oratio ') is seen on 
the reverse of a little medal of the Emperor Fer- 
dinand I ( 1 556-64) .'^ 

Finally, another piece of faulty evidence may be 
cleared away. It has been said ^ that these shekels 
were made by Georg Emerich, burgomaster of Gorlitz, who, after 
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, erected in his native place a reproduc- 
tion of the Holy Sepulchre and gave these shekels as souvenirs to 
those who came to see it. This would be interesting, if it were 
founded on fact ; for Emerich (1422-1507) visited Jerusalem as 
early as 1465. Thus we should be able to trace the shekels back 
to the latter part of the fifteenth century. Unfortunately, the 
only foundation for the statement seems to be the fact that such 
shekels^** have for some time past been sold at the Gorlitz Holy 

Fig. 61. — 
From Postel. 

1 To which my attention was called 
by Dr. Julius Cahn. The portion of the 
picture which concerns the present 
question is reproduced in the Reliquary 
(1904), p. 135. 

2 Lucas de Leyde et Albert Diirer 
(1884), p. 660. 

^ K, Regling, Sammlung Lanna, iii, 
no. 678, pi. 36. 

* Dannenberg, in Berliner Miinz- 
bldtter, xxiv (April 1903), p. 261. 

^ Professor R. Jecht, the leading 
authority on Emerich's biography, kindly 
informed me that there is no documen- 
tary evidence of the date when these 
shekels were first sold there ; on no 
account does he believe that the practice 
was instituted by Georg Emerich. 



I have hitherto not mentioned a more elaborate variety of 
this forgery. Our illustration (fig, 62) is reproduced from 
a specimen in the Paris Cabinet ; and engraving of a similar 
piece serves as the frontispiece of a pompous little work issued 
in 1810 by S. Lyon.^ Lyon's piece was found among ruins near 
Huntingdon in 1809. The legends on this and similar pieces 
mean : ' The Lord is the Keeper of Israel, the mighty King 
(or the King of Glory) in Jerusalem ' and ' The Shekel of David 
which remained hidden in the Treasury of Zion in the Temple '.^ 
The symbols added to the types are mitre, anointing horn, urn, 
and crown, together with various letters of which the significance 

Fig. 62. — Variety of the Censer Shekel in the BibUotheque Nationale. 

is obscure. The vase on the one side is described by Levy as 
containing a three-fold bough ; and this is also the case with 
the specimen illustrated by Hottinger,^ but in the specimens 
figured here and by Lyon that description hardly applies. What- 
ever the objects in the vase may be, I am inclined to think that 
the design is in origin a modification of the censer of the other 
false shekels. 

Some one endowed with more patience than the writer may 
possibly be able to discover the actual origin of these curious 
pieces and the object for which they were made. As far as our 
present lights enable us to decide, it would seem that they were 
invented not exactly in bad faith, merely to delude the pious 

^ Explanation of and Observations on an 
Antique Medal . . . now in the possession 
of S. Lyon, London, 1810. There are 
two specimens of this forgery at Paris ; 
see Revue Numismatique, 1892, p. 244, 

no. 7. I owe the cast from which fig. 62 
is made to the late M. J. de Foville. 

^ See Levy, in Madden, op. cit., p. 316. 

^ Dissertatio de variis Orientalium Inscr. , 
col. 876, pi. V, in Ugolinus, tom. 28. 


mind, but rather in that spirit of which we have found traces in 
the work of Waser, and which was exceedingly prevalent among 
early antiquaries : the spirit which led them to invent coins 
of all famous characters, from Adam and Eve onwards ; in 
a word, the passion for completeness. Perhaps the most naive 
expression of this state of mind is to be found in the preface of 
Guillaume Rouille to his Promptuaire des Medailles, one of the 
earliest systematic works on numismatics.^ 

' In order that no one may, under the Cornelian Law, 
accuse us of falsification, as though we were issuing false coins, 
in that we have ventured publicly to display before all eyes ficti- 
tious and imaginary figures for good and true ones : may a kind 
and gracious respect be accorded unto this our free confession ; 
for no man is bound to perform the impossible. Of the first 
men, before the deluge and the invention of the art of sculpture 
and painting, as of Adam, Abraham, and other Patriarchs, we 
do not deny that the images have been made by us ; but with 
just and true cause ; for, possessing no first exemplar, we have, 
out of most true and holy Scripture, and out of grave and veracious 
authors, with consideration of their nature, their customs, their 
age, time, place, and deeds, and comparison of all together j 
made these images so like to the truth, that with reason we should 
rather be commended than in any wise reprehended. And> 
moreover, why should less be allowed and less conceded to u& 
than to that most noble sculptor Phidias, who, by studying of 
a few verses of Homer, conjectured the form of Jove, invisible 
in its substance, and fashioned the Olympian Jove ? Maybe 
that Homer is of more credibility than the holy Scripture dictated 
by the spirit and power of God } Why should we enjoy less 
licence than Zeuxis the painter, who, out of the faces and forms 
of the five Agrigentine virgins ,2 selected by his art, made the figure 
of the fair goddess } Why may we do less than Asinius Pollio, 
who made the images of the authors of the books in his library, 
out of their writings, before any other Roman ? ^ Why is less 

^ Promptuaire des medailles des plus ways, quainter than the French of the 

renommees personnes qui out este depuis same year. There are also Latin and 

le commencement du monde. The passage Spanish versions. 

is quoted by E. Babelon, Traite des Mon- ^ The French edition has cent pucelles ! 
naies grecques et romaines, vol. i (Paris, The ' fair goddess ' should be Helen. 
1 901), p. 98. I translate from the Italian ^ In this passage the writer has mis- 
edition (Lyon, 1553), which is, in some understood Isidore (Orig. vi. 5), who 

1715 M 


allowed to us than to him who, by considering the art of Homer, 
dead so many ages before, did out of his poems and his spirit 
conjecture and express his face ? For these reasons we are con- 
fident that no blame or fault should be imputed to us for having 
done such a work. Further, Pliny writes in this wise : " The 
things which are not, are counterfeited ; and the faces which are 
not seen beget a desire to see them ; nor is there any greater 
instance and proof of good fortune in a man than this, that all 
men should always desire to know who he was." Thus far Pliny. 
We, therefore, imitating these great examples, without any first 
model, and following only the truth of history and right reason, 
have formed and found out, wath the counsel and assistance 
of the most learned of our friends, the images and faces of the 
first men, and of some of the intermediate ages, to this end only, 
that our history, being depicted with the pencil as well as with 
the pen, may not be deficient in the one or the other part.' 

merely says that Asinius placed portraits volumes ; but neither Asinius nor Varro 

of Greek and Latin authors in his public need be credited with the inventive faculty 

library ; while Pliny {Nat. Hist. xxxv. ii) attributed to them by our author, 
says that Varro inserted portraits in his 

Note. — Casts of the censer-shekel (p. 82) were used by the bell- 
founder John Palmer of Gloucester to decorate various bells cast by him 
from 1650 to 1663. See H. B. Walters in Trans. Bristol and Gloucester 
Archaeol. Soc, xxxiv, p. 119. 




THAT the incident of the Betrayal of Christ for Thirty 
Pieces of Silver should have had an attraction for the 
mediaeval maker of legends, and that pieces professing 
to be the original coins received by Judas should have been 
treasured as relics, are hardly matters for surprise. There is no 
lack of literature on the legend which was woven round the story 
of the Thirty Pieces, and of late years two or three writers have 
devoted some attention to the supposed relics of the Betrayal. 
A comparison and analysis of the various forms of the legend 
have, however, not been instituted, so far as I have been able to 
discover. As to the relics, the material for study is only to be 
found in foreign periodicals and works not generally accessible. 
It seems worth while, therefore, to make some attempt to trace 
the development of the legend, and to collect the descriptions of 
the coins which were or are preserved in various sanctuaries. 

The earliest extant work in which I have been able to find 
the legend in a fully developed form is the Pantheon of Godfrey 
of Viterbo, who died in 1191.'^ He gives it in one of his Latin 
poems in rhyming three-line stanzas,^ beginning : 

Denariis triginta Deum vendit Galilaeus, 
quos et apostolicus describit Bartholomaeus, 
unde prius veniant, quis fabricavit eos. 

Freely translated, and somewhat abridged, Godfrey's account 
is as follows : ^ ' Ninus, King of the Assyrians, had these coins 
made, and it was Terah who fashioned them out of gold ; with 
them the Ninivite king set up his market. The face of the King 

1 I follow the text as given by E. ences to literature and documents bearing 

du Meril, Poesies populaires latines du on the subject of this legend. 

Moyen-Age, 1847, p. 321. I may here '^ If my version is prosy, confused, and 

record my thanks to Miss L Eckenstein disjointed, I think I am justified in 

and Mr. J. A. Herbert for several refer- saying that the original is hardly less so. 


was stamped on these denarii to furnish an example to all time, 
and to perpetuate his own likeness. The son of this Terah, called 
Abram, afterwards took away these coins with his wife Sara when, 
at God's bidding, he went into Canaan. With these coins he 
bought land from the men of Jericho ; with these also Joseph 
was bought by the Ishmaelites ; these did wealthy Pharaoh keep 
in his treasury. These also the mighty Sibyl, the Queen Nicaula, 
possessed ; even the Queen of the South, who afterwards from 
the Court of Solomon gave them, a reverent offering, to the 
Temple. But Nebuchadnezzar, when he spoiled the Temple, 
carried them away to Babylon, where they were given as pay for 
soldiers to the kings in Saba. When the three Magi together 
brought their three gifts, the scripture of the ancients records 
that the kings whom the strange star called forth brought these 
coins to God. But when, taught by angelic warnings, these kings 
had gone home, a most worthy garment was sent down from 
heaven for the Child ; without seam was it, and of wondrous 
hue. His Father sent it from heaven ; no woman span it ; 
it became longer as the Child grew in stature. Now when 
Herod commanded that the Child should be sought out to be 
slain. His Mother in fear of death fled to the land of the Nile 
and lay hidden there. Then these three gifts were left in that 
hiding-place, the gold, frankincense and myrrh, and the blessed 
garment of God. Some shepherds came and carried away the 
gifts. But there was a certain astrologer who removed the gifts 
which had been left behind. He knew by the stars all the portents 
of Christ's coming ; he was an Armenian, just and honourable. 
Now in the time when Christ was teaching, an angel said to this 
man : Render up the gifts of God which thou hast taken ; let 
the sacred gifts of God be restored to Him. So the short tunic 
of the Child was given back, and as Jesus put it on it became of 
full size. The man saw it, and his mind was troubled and 
astonished. The thirty denarii which they had brought to God 
they gave, at the behest of Jesus, to the treasury of the Temple, 
which denarii they say Judas afterwards received as his price. 
After the death of Christ Judas brought them back and cast 
them down in repentance, and hanged himself and burst asunder. 
Then they gave fifteen denarii for the Potter's Field, and as 
many to the soldiers who guarded the tomb by night. Perchance 
thou thinkest, reader, that my words agree not together, since 
I have written that those coins were of gold ; for the Book speaks 


of silver. Mark said that the Lord was bought for silver ; of coins 
or of a talent of gold he spoke not. But it is even as I have said ; 
for it was the custom of the ancients to use more than one name 
for gold, and to call different metals by the name of silver. Know 
that Saint Bartholomew wrote thus of this matter ; his Hebrew 
discourse to the Armenians tells how the very God was sold for 
gold : 

Ergo, patente nota, solus negat hoc idiota, 
cuius habent vota non discere facta remota ; 
lectores dociles pagina nostra vocat.' 

The ' discourse of St. Bartholomew to the Armenians written 
in Hebrew ' seems to have disappeared without leaving any 
other trace ; at least it is ignored by the chief modern authorities 
on the apocryphal literature. The Coptic Gospel according to 
St. Bartholomew, or ' Book of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ 
by Bartholomew the Apostle', is a Gnostic production, in which 
Judas plays a considerable part ; but the legend of the thirty 
pieces is not to be found in such portions of it as have been 
preserved .1 It may have been to this Gnostic Gospel that 
St. Jerome referred when he wrote, in the Preface to his Com- 
mentary on St. Matthew,^ that a spurious gospel of St. Bartholo- 
mew was in circulation. We may perhaps assume that Godfrey 
drew from a Latin translation of some legend of Armenian 
origin. This is suggested by the facts that the Sermo, although 
written in Hebrew, is addressed to the Armenians, and that 
the hero of the story is an Armenian. The Armenian sources 
for the story of St. Bartholomew, so far as published, throw 
no light on the matter.^ 

Very little later than Godfrey of Viterbo is the author of 
the Syriac Book of the Bee^^ Solomon, who became Bishop of 
Basra about a.d. 1222. In him we find the legend in an elaborate 
and in many ways different form, betraying the influence of the 

^ See Revillout's edition in R. Graffin ceris fontibus Armeniacis in linguam Lati- 

et F. Nau, Patrologia Orientalis, tome ii nam conversa, Salisburgi, 1877. 

(1907), pp. 185-98, and E. A. W. Budge, ^ See the edition (Oxford, 1886) by 

Coptic Apocrypha in the Dialect of Upper Sir E. A. W. Budge, who called my 

Egypt, 191 3, pp. 179 ff. attention to this version of the legend. 

^ Migne, Patr. Lat., vol. xxvi, col. 17. Assemani {Bibl. Orient, in. i. 317) says 

Gelasius and Bede, who also mention that the legend occurs frequently in 

this spurious gospel, probably drew their Syriac manuscripts, but gives no details ; 

information from Jerome. and inquiries from several Syriac scholars 

^ See G. Moesinger, Vita et Marty- have failed to confirm his statement. 
rium Sancti Bartholomaei Apostoli ex sin- 


legend of Abgarus, King of Edessa. Before giving his version, 
it is as well to note that the legend can hardly have been known in 
Syriac-speaking lands before the ninth century. Otherwise it 
would surely have been worked into the Chronicle of Dionysius 
of Tell Mahre (Patriarch of Antioch from a.d. 8i8 to 845). This 
writer ^ and Pseudo-Ephraim," the author of the Cave of the 
Treasures, deal in great detail with the history of the treasures 
brought from Paradise. Adam took from the borders of Paradise 
gold, myrrh, and frankincense, and placed them in a cave, and 
blessed it, and consecrated it, so that it should be the house of 
prayer for him and for his sons, and called it the Cave of the 
Treasures. The Gnostic Apocalypse of Adam ^ connects these 
treasures definitely with the Magi : ' And we sealed this Testa- 
ment, and placed it in the Cave of the Treasures, where it remains 
unto this day, with the treasures that Adam had taken from 
Paradise, the gold, the myrrh, and the incense. And the sons 
of the Magian kings shall come, shall take them, and shall bear 
them to the Son of God, in the grotto of Bethlehem of Judah.' * 
To return to Solomon of Basra. He refers (p. 85) to the belief 
that the gifts brought by the Magi were descended from Adam 
only to condemn it as not received by the Church. The legend 
itself, as he gives it (p. 95), is briefly this.^ Terah made these 
pieces for Abraham ; Abraham gave them to Isaac ; Isaac 
bought a village with them ; the owner of the village carried them 
to Pharaoh ; Pharaoh sent them to Solomon, who placed them 
round about the door of the altar. Nebuchadnezzar, struck by 
their beauty, carried them off. He gave them to some Persian 
youths who were at Babylon as hostages, and these youths, 
being released by Nebuchadnezzar, carried them to their parents. 
From Persia the Magi brought them with the other gifts. On 
their way, when near Edessa, the kings fell asleep by the wayside, 
and when they went on they left the coins behind. Certain 
merchants found them and brought them to the neighbourhood 
of Edessa. On that same day an angel appeared to the shepherds 

^ Cf. E. Renan, in Journal Asiatique, ^ The thirty pieces of silver, he says, 

1853, P- 467- were thirty pieces of silver according to 

2 C. Bezold, Die Schatzhohle, 1883. the weight of the sanctuary (i.e. the 

^ Renan, op. cit., p. 457. sacred Jewish shekel of about 224 grains 

* This passage is referred to in the troy) and equivalent to 600 pieces accord- 

Syriac ' Passing of the Blessed Virgin ' ing to the weight of his country (i.e. 

(W. Wright, Contr. to the Apocr. Lit. of dirhems). 

the New Testament, 1865). 


and gave them the seamless garment. The shepherds, taking 
this garment, met the merchants, and an exchange was made. 
The merchants went into Edessa with the garment, and the 
King Abgarus sent to them and asked if they had anything meet 
for kings, that he might buy it. When he saw the garment he asked 
whence they had it, and on learning the facts sent for the shepherds. 
Thus he acquired both the garment and the coins, and sent them 
to Christ for the good which He had done him in healing his 
sickness. Christ kept the garment but sent the pieces to the 
Jewish treasury. The priests gave them to Judas, and the rest 
follows as in the gospel. 

I have said that this version differs considerably from that of 
Godfrey of Viterbo. Nevertheless there can be no doubt of their 
common origin ; they begin and end alike ; the seamless garment 
is associated with the coins in the same mysterious way.^ God- 
frey's Armenian astrologer corresponds to King Abgarus. But 
we miss the attractive episode of the presentation of the coins 
to the infant Christ and the losing of them by the Virgin. 

Of course the discovery of other Syriac versions may throw 
new light on the development of the legend. But with the 
present evidence we are probably justified in supposing that the 
ultimate source of both Godfrey's and Solomon's stories would 
be found in a comparatively simple form in Pseudo- Bartholomew. 
Possibly the minute germ from which the connexion of the coins 
with the Magi sprang is to be found in the well-known Apocryphal 
Gospel of Matthew. The date of this apocryph is not later than 
the fourth century after Christ. Here in chapter xvi ^ we read : 
' then they opened their treasures, and gave exceeding great gifts 
to Mary and Joseph. But to the Child Himselj they each offered one 
gold coin. After these, one offered gold, the second frankincense, 
and the third myrrh.' 

Surely there is an echo of this in Godfrey's stanza : 

Hos reges Saba quos post nova Stella vocavit 
ferre Deo nummos Veterum scriptura notavit, 
cum tria tres socii dona tulere magi. 

^ In the German poem of King sum for which Judas betrayed his Lord, 

Orendel, which dates from the second I do not find it assumed, as Creizenach 

half of the twelfth century, the King buys has suggested it is, that these were 

the seamless vesture from the Fisherman actually the same fateful coins. See 

for thirty gold pennies, brought to him Simrock's translation of the poem (1845), 

from Our Lady by Gabriel. But pp. 32-4. 

although the poem says that this was the ^ Tischendorf, Ev. Apocr., 1876, p. 83. 


The picturesque effect of these three coins would appeal to 
the mythopceic faculty. It would be easy to multiply them by 
ten. And once connected with the Magi, with all the mysterious 
traditions that involved the Kings of the East, it would be but 
natural to take the history of the coins back to the time when the 
Sabaean land previously played a part in Biblical history, i.e. to 
the time of the Queen of Sheba. Possibly also the tradition that 
the Magi were descended from Abraham by Keturah ^ may 
have made it easy to carry the story of the coins back as far as 

This, however, is mere speculation. Let us return to the 
legend itself.^ 

In the third quarter of the fourteenth century a great vogue 
was given to the story by two writers, Ludolph of Suchem and 
John of Hildesheim. The latter, a Carmelite friar, is better known, 
but the priority seems to rest with Ludolph. His de Itinere 
Terrae Sanctae ^ was dedicated to Baldwin of Steinfort, Bishop 
of Paderborn, a fact which dates it before 1361 . Internal evidence 
and comparison with the ' Book of Cologne ' show that it is later 
than 1350. Ludolph, according to his own statement, was in 
the Holy Land from 1336 to 1341. 

He gives as his authority (chapter xxxix) the History of the 
Kings of the East^ The coins were some of a number made for 
Ninus by Terah, who received thirty of them pro suo salario, 
a pleasing touch. Abraham spent them in his exile, and they 
came into the hands of the Ishmaelites. The Ishmaelites bought 
Joseph with them, and with them Joseph's brethren bought 
corn out of Egypt. Afterwards they were sent into the land of 

1 Did this tradition originate in the ^ Ed.F.Deycks, Stuttgarter Lit. Verein, 
name Sheba borne by one of the grand- 1851. Compare the same critic's Ueber 
children of Abraham by Keturah ? dltere Pilgerfahrten, 58 ff. He regards 
(Gen. XXV. 3.) John of Hildesheim as the source of 

2 For completeness sake, though I Ludolph ; but the view taken in the 
have no details, I note here that in con- text, and supported by Neumann in 
nexion with Godfrey's version of the Archives de VOrient Latin, ii (1884), 
legend Creizenach {Judas Iscarioth in Doc. 313 ff., seems to be dictated by the 
Legende und Sage des Mittelalters, in chronological data. Ludolph's work has 
Beitrdge zur Gesch. d. deutschen Sprache been translated for the Palestine Pilgrims 
u. Lit. ii (1876), p. 179) mentions Text Society (1895). 

a Catalan version, supposed to belong ^ As Ludolph was in the Holy Land 

to the time of Raymond LuUy (who died for some time, he may very possibly 

13 15). See Jahrbuch fiir roman. u. engl. have gone to some Syriac sources. 
Lit. V, p. 137 note. 


Saba to buy merchandise for Pharaoh {in Saba pro mercimoniis ex 
parte Pharaonis). The Queen of Sheba brought them to Solomon, 
and they were placed in the Temple ; thence they were carried 
off by Nebuchadnezzar, who gave them to the King of Godolia.^ 
There they remained until, at the time of the birth of Christ, the 
kingdom of Godolia was transferred to the kingdom of Nubia. 
Melchior brought them to Christ, because older and nobler gold 
than this he found none in his treasury. They were lost by Mary 
when she fled to Egypt in the Balsam Garden ; and there they 
were found by a certain shepherd, who kept them until the time 
of the Passion approached. Falling ill and hearing of the works 
of Christ, this shepherd came to Him and was cured. The rest 
of the story agrees with the account as given in Godfrey of Viterbo ; 
but there is no excursus on the sacred garment, nor are we told 
what the coins were like. The discrepancy between the metals 
is briefly explained. Finally we are told that when the predestined 
object of the denarii was fulfilled, they were immediately separated 
and dispersed. 

Ludolph's book was meant for pilgrims and those interested 
in their journeys. John of Hildesheim appealed to an audience 
perhaps even wider. His Liher de gestis ac trina beatissimorum 
trium regum translacione was dedicated to and written at the bidding 
of Florentius of Wevelinghoven or Wevelkoven, Bishop of 
Miinster. Florentius held that see from 1364 to 1379, and, as 
John died at Marienau in 1375, the date of the composition is 
fixed between 1364 and 1375. It appeared in a German transla- 
tion as early as 1389.2 In modern times attention was called 
to it by Goethe. 

The account given by John in chapters xxviii, xxix, is 

^ I cannot explain Godolia and Godo- ^ The Latin version was first printed 
lias (see below), unless they are echoes of in Germany in 1477 ; reprinted in 1478, 
Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, who, having 148 1, i486, and 15 14, and at Modena (as 
been made governor by Nebuchadnezzar Legenda sanctorum trium regum) in 1490. 
over the people who were left in Judaea A more or less critical edition was pub- 
after the destruction of Jerusalem, ruled lished by E. Kopke from a Brandenburg 
for two months and was then murdered manuscript in Mittheil. aus d. Handschr. 
(Jer. xl, xli, and 2 Kings XXV. 22-5). The d. Ritterakad. zu Brandenburg, 1878. A 
LXX, Josephus and the Vulgate call him text with very full apparatus criticus accom- 
Godolias. The connexion with Nebu- panics the edition of the English version 
chadnezzar seems to favour this explana- in the Early English Text Society's pub- 
tion. In John of Hildesheim (see below) lication, The Three Kings of Cologne, ed, 
Godolia is the name of Balthasar's by C. Horstmann (1886), to which I may 
kingdom. refer the reader for further details. 

171S N 


very full. I have space to note only the chief points of 

The source of the story of the offering of the coins by 
Melchior is described as the lihri Indorum} After the death of 
Jacob, Joseph sent the coins to the kingdom of Saba for spices 
to bury his father, and they were placed in the treasury of the 
Sabaean kings. Then, just as Godfrey and Ludolph relate, 
they found their way to the Temple of Jerusalem. In the time 
of Rehoboam, in the taking of Jerusalem and the spoiling of the 
Temple, they came into the hands of the King of the Arabians, 
who was then an ally of the Egyptians, and thus into the royal 
treasury of Arabia. Melchior, King of Nubia and of the Arabians, 
brought, together with many other precious gifts, these thirty 
denarii, since older and nobler gold in his treasury he found none. 
These only he offered to our Lord, passing over the other gifts 
in his fear (as described in chapter xxii). The treasures (i.e. the 
coins, frankincense, and myrrh) were taken by the Virgin, wrapped 
up in a linen cloth, and lost on her flight into Egypt. They were 
found by a Bedouin shepherd. He kept them until, shortly 
before the Passion, he fell into an incurable disease. Hearing 
of the fame of Jesus, he came to Him, and was cured and con- 
verted. He offered the gifts to Jesus ; but Jesus knew them 
and bade him put them on the altar. And the priest burnt the 
frankincense, and put the myrrh with the coins in the treasury. 
In order that all the Jews indifferently should be responsible 
for the Passion and death of Christ, the priests took the coins 
out of the common treasury and gave them to Judas. Part of the 
myrrh was mixed with the vinegar offered to Christ on the cross, 
and the rest was given by Nicodemus for the embalming of the 
body. The coins when returned by Judas were divided, as we 
have learned they were from Godfrey and Ludolph. A descrip- 
tion follows of the cemetery in the Potter's Field ; also we 
have Godfrey's ingenious explanation of the discrepancy between 
Gospel and legend as to the metal of the coins, given in a more 
elaborate and confused form. They were called by the general 
name argentei, just as gold denarii are now called scuti mutones ^ 
or florins. The type, weight, and appearance of the coins in use 

1 Doubtless, as Horstmann suggests, through some Latin history. 

John's sources may have been largely ^ In the Modena edition scudati 

fictitious ; in any case he can hardly mutenes. The French ecus with the 

have known such Oriental sources except mouton {Agnus Dei) are meant. 


from the time of Abraham down to the destruction of Jerusalem 
by Titus and Vespasian remained, we are assured, unchanged, and 
in all parts of the East coins never alter their weight or value. 
Then comes an obscure passage on the garment of Christ : the 
style and size of the seamless garment have remained in hereditary 
use among very many princes and nobles down to the writer's 
day.^ Each of the thirty pieces is said to be worth about three 
florins ; ^ and on one side of the coin is impressed the head of 
a king, laureate, and on the other side are Chaldaic letters which 
modern men cannot read or decipher. 

The early German translation of John's book already men- 
tioned =^ presents certain small variations, of which perhaps the 
only one worth recording is that Potiphar, Pharaoh's chamberlain, 
is said to have bought Joseph directly from his brethren with 
these coins. 

It will be observed that John differs from the other writers 
in saying that the Egyptians, not Nebuchadnezzar, carried off 
the coins in the reign of Rehoboam, i.e. when Shishak took 

The legend seems to have found its way into England in the 
fourteenth century, although it has left, so far as I know, but 
one slight trace at that early date. This occurs in a mutilated 
scripture history, which used to be attributed to Adam Davie 
{circa a.d. 13 12). But the attribution is baseless, and there is, it 
would seem, no reason why this fragment should not belong to 
the end of the fourteenth century. In that case the author may 
have learned the story from Ludolph or John of Hildesheim. 
The fragment is as follows : * 

For gritty pens )?ai soldew \at childe ; \t seller hi3th Judas, 
po Ruben com honi and myssed hym ; sori ynou3 he was. 
pe childes kirtel hij nomew ; and in blood it wouwde 
Ac castew it at her fader feet ; and seiden hou ]?ai it fouwde. 
Alias alias seide Jacob ; ]>at I 1 is day schulde ywite. 
Wilde bestes in j^e wood ; habbe]' my childe y-bite, 

^ The garment, we have seen, is also heiligen drei Konigen. 

associated with the coins by Godfrey * MS. Laud Misc. 622, fol. 65 

and Solomon. The object here appears (Bodleian Library). I have to thank 

to be to draw a parallel between the Mr. A. E. Cowley for procuring me 

fashion in dress and the fashion in the a copy of the whole of this portion of 

coinage in respect of permanence. the manuscript. W. Sandys {Christmas 

2 Say 25^. of our money. Carols, 1833, p. Ixxxv) notes the con- 

^ See Simrock, Die Legende von den nexion of the verses with the legend. 


Unfortunately the verses that should follow are lost ; but it is 
possible that there was no further allusion to the legend than that 
involved in the alteration of the price from twenty to thirty pence. 

A fifteenth-century manuscript account in the British 
Museum (34276, fol. 33 b), written in Latin by an English scribe 
of the name of Barow, is obviously an abridgement of the story 
as told by John of Hildesheim. It was probably taken, to judge 
from the style of the writing, not from the printed book, but 
from one of the many earlier manuscripts. It omits the stages 
by which the coins, after they were deposited in the Temple, 
came into the hands of the Magi. The Badwini (Bedouins) of 
John of Hildesheim are transformed into the English-sounding 
name Bodwyny} The explanation of the discrepancy between 
the metals is omitted, but the passage describing the coins agrees 
almost verbatim with John. This writer adds : ^ after the denarii 
had fulfilled that which was to be fulfilled, they were dispersed. 

The pilgrim Felix Fabri, of Nuremberg, at the end of the 
fifteenth century, read the story, he tells us, in a certain long and 
wordy history.^ He is not given to brevity himself, but his words 
accurately describe John of Hildesheim 's work. Nevertheless, 
certain small coincidences show that he rather followed Ludolph, 
or Ludolph 's source. Thus he says that the coins were sent to 
the land of Saba pro mercimoniis, without mentioning spices ; 
Nebuchadnezzar presented them to Godolias,^ by whom they 
were transmitted to the kingdom of Nubia. He does not mention 
the balsam-garden ; the treasures were lost in the desert. But 
from the finding of them b}^ ' a certain shepherd ' down to the 
end of the story he agrees most closely with Ludolph, except that 
he does not deal with the question of the metal, and that he 
supposes all the thirty to have been spent on the purchase of the 
Potter's Field. 

It seems clear from the evidence here given that between 

^ The manuscript of John's work at English (1892-3). The passage in ques 

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, has tion is translated by M. de Vogiie in 

Bodewtni. The English manuscripts Rev. des Deux Mondes, viii (1875), 531 f. ; 

edited by Horstmann do not attempt to see also Barbier de Montault in Rev. de 

describe the shepherd's race. VArt Chretien, N.S. iv (1886), in an 

- Like Ludolph, and like the English article to be referred to later, 
translation (Horstmann, pp. 100, loi). ^ Godolia, in Ludolph and in John of 

^ See his Evagatorium, i. 426 (ed. by Hildesheim (chapter xi), is the name of 

C. D, Hassler in Stuttgarter Lit. Verein, the kingdom ; but John does not men- 

1846-9). The Palestine Pilgrims Text tion it in this connexion. See above, 

Society has published the work in p. 97. 


Godfrey of Viterbo and Ludolph of Suchem there is a gap which 
should be filled by the History of the Kings of the East from 
which, or from different versions of which, both Ludolph and 
John of Hildesheim drew. „ ; :.« 

There are two other manuscripts in the British Museiinfi 
which represent different versions of the legend. Both, are of 
the fifteenth century. One (22553, fol. 144 b) is in an Italian 
hand. I mention here only the more important details in which 
the account differs from those already described. Nothing is 
said about the coins being of gold. Abraham bought with them 
the tomb in which Adam and Eve had been buried. From the 
Egyptian treasury they came into the hands of Moses, who gave 
them to a Queen of Sheba. The Virgin, when she had received 
them from the Magi, gave them to the shepherds who came to 
adore Christ, because they were poor ; and they departing placed 
them in the Temple. There is no reference to the division of the 
money between the soldiers and the purchase of the Potter's 

The other manuscript (34139, fol. 87), which is in a German 
hand, differs from the preceding in stating that the coins found 
their way into the Temple for the second time as the price for 
which the Virgin redeemed her Son according to the law, after 
she had presented Him in the Temple. Finally, I may note an 
isolated statement in the thirteenth-century City of Jerusalem 
to the effect that the thirty pieces were struck at Capernaum. 
This does not seem to fit in with any of the versions of the legend 
that we have considered.^ 

In all the above versions, except that of Solomon of Basra, 
the coins are actually presented by the Magi to the infant Christ. 
Solomon, by a very complicated process, brings the coins into the 
hands of King Abgarus. In Godfrey's version also there is some 
confusion in the transition from the finding of the coins by the 
shepherds to their acquisition by Abgarus's double, the Armenian 
astrologer. It looks as if, in the story from which both Godfrey 
and Solomon drew, this point was not quite clear. Solomon has 
' joined his flats ' better than Godfrey, but has evidently had to 
exercise considerable ingenuity in doing so. 

If I may be allowed to venture one more hypothesis, I would 

^ The City of Jerusalem, part ii, in of this work appears to be between a.d. 
no. 8 of the Palestine Pilgrims Text 1220 and 1229. 
Society's publications, p. 31. The date 


suggest that the two short versions in which the whole episode of 
the losing and finding of the coins is omitted may, in view of their 
comparative simplicity, represent a very old form of the story. 

To quite a different group of legends from those already 
mentioned belongs one which is incorporated in the curious 
History of the Holy Rood-tree ; ^ the manuscript which contains 
this story is of the third quarter of the twelfth century, and thus 
contemporary with Godfrey of Viterbo. But this story did not 
become so popular as the one which we have described above. 
Briefly it is this : the three miraculous rods of Moses which 
eventually became the Holy Cross were planted by David ; they 
grew up into a tree, and each year for thirty years David marked 
the trunk with a silver hoop of thirty pounds, which was forged 
round it. When the tree was cut down to make a beam (which, 
however, was not used) for Solomon's Temple, the thirty silver 
hoops were made into thirty plates and hung in the Temple by 
the king for his father's soul. ' That was the same silver for which 
the wretched Judas betrayed our Lord to death ', for the Jews took 
these thirty pieces and gave them to him. 

In a Greek Legend of the Holy Cross ^ the rings of silver do 
not go back as far as David ; but it is said that after the beam 
was found to be unsuitable for the Temple, Solomon, learning 
from the Erythraean Sibyl its sacred destiny, set it upright, and 
fastened round it thirty ' crowns ' of pure silver ; and these 
crowns it was that Judas afterwards received. 

P. Leopoldo de Feis^ has some ingenious speculations con- 
cerning this legend, which when he wrote he knew only in the 
form published by Sir E. M. Thompson. The silver hoops 
remind him of the ' thirty " crowns " * commemorating for 
Christians the same number of denarii of Judas ', which Anthony 
of Novgorod in a.d. 1200 saw above the ciborium of St. Sophia. 
It is indeed possible that the legend was inspired by the sight 

^ Published by A. S, Napier, Early the Greek one mentioned in the next 

Eng. Text Soc, 1894 (pp. 24, 25). note. 

Napier also gives (p. 69) the Latin ver- ^ Gretser, Hortus Cruets, Ingolstadt, 

sion of the Judas story from a late 1610, p. 233. 

twelfth-century manuscript at Jesus Col- ^ Le Monete del Prezzo di Gtuda, p. 7 

lege, Oxford, and refers to the later (Florence, 1902 ; extr. from Studi 

manuscripts. (Cf. Sir E. M. Thompson, religiosi). 

Journ. Brit. Archaeol. Assoc, xxxvii, ■* It is to be noted that the Greek 

1881, pp. 241 f.) Mr. Robin Flower legend quoted above calls the hoops 

called my attention to this legend, and to crowns (ore'^aiot). 


of thirty such rings. Feis further remarks, in connexion with the 
fact that the legend does not regard the thirty pieces of silver as 
coined money, but as rings of wrought metal, that primitive 
currency frequently took the form of rings ; the Hebrew word for 
talent, for instance, kikkar, means a circular thing. ^ One may 
doubt, however, whether the maker of the legend, even in its 
most primitive form, had any conception of this. 

Finally, an incidental reference in a thirteenth-century 
manuscript continuation of William of Tyre "^ seems to point 
to some other source than those which we have enumerated : At 
Acco there is also a tower called the Accursed, situate upon the 
wall which surrounds the city, which, if the vulgar opinion 
deserve credit, took its name because the silver pieces for which 
the traitor Judas sold the Lord are said to have been made there. 

Here we may leave the legend. Perhaps the somewhat 
irritating gaps in the material so far collected may stimulate 
some scholar, better equipped than myself, to bridge them 
over. But it is not amiss to recall the warning which I seem to 
have heard somewhere : he who thinks that he has attained 
a definitive result in tracing the development of a mediaeval legend 
may deceive himself, but he will not deceive his readers. 

But the history of the coins does not stop here, and we have 
now to deal with something less elusive in the shape of those 
pieces which, each professing to be a ' Judas-penny ', found their 
way into the sanctuaries of Christendom. 

So far, more than thirty such pieces have been recorded ; 
some are still extant ; others though lost have been described 
with sufficient accuracy to enable us to say to what class they 
belong ; of others we have but a bare mention. What we do 
know makes it probable that no single one of the professed relics ^ 
was actually a coin of the kind that was in circulation in Judaea 
in the time of Christ.^ 

^ Possibly, however, circular like a Hastings's Diet, of Religion and Ethics, 

round cake, not a ring. vol. iii, pp. 703 f. See also the pamphlet 

- Brit. Mus. Royal 14 C x, fol. 264. of Feis quoted above (p. 102), p. 3, 

I owe the reference to Mr. Herbert. note 2. The interesting nummus per- 

^ I use the word * relic ' in its most foratus lancea Sancti Mauricii Martyris 
general sense, not necessarily implying which used to be at Canterbury (J. Dart, 
that all these coins were the object of History of the Cathedral Church of Can- 
st, cult. terbury, 1726, App. xlvii ; from Brit. 

* On the general subject of coins as Mus. MS. Cotton, Galba E iv, fol. 125 b, 

relics I may refer to E. Babelon, Traite of the early fourteenth century) was 

des Monnaies, i. 76 f., and my article in possibly a coin of Mauricius Tiberius. 


The most exhaustive treatment of this subject is to be found 
in an article by the distinguished ' hpsanographer ', M. F. de 
Mely.i This was, however, preceded in 1886 by an article by 
M. Barbier de Montault,^ dealing especially with the reliquary 
of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. Finally, some additional informa- 
tion has been furnished by three other writers.^ The existence of 
these articles relieves me from overloading these pages with 
detailed references for each coin. 

/M. de Mely has noted the following six places in which 
specimens of the Thirty Pieces, not sufficiently described to allow 
of identification, were preserved : 

(i) The Visitandines at Aix. 

(2) Notre Dame du Puy. 

(3) The Abbey of St. Denis. 

(4) Montserrat in Catalonia. 

(5) S. Croce in Florence. 

(6) The Annunziata in Florence. 

To these Feis adds (7) yet another, which was in the now 
no longer existing Church of S. Maria dei Candeli in Florence.* 

Of the coin at S. Croce we are told that Cosimo de' Medici 
the Elder received it from the Greek Patriarch who came to the 
Florentine Council {scil. in 1439-42). Richa, who says that 
the coin in the Annunziata was similar to it, suspends judgement 
as to the authenticity of the S. Croce relic, which he says was 
neither a Hebrew nor a Roman coin. The piece in Notre Dame 
du Puy was left to the ancestors of the barony of Agrain by 
a virtuous lady of that house, who, having a son in the service of 
the Grand Turk, received from him this precious denarius, 
* which is of great efficacy for the comforting of women labouring 
with child '. As to the pieces at Aix and St. Denis, M. de Ville- 
noisy points out that, as they are only mentioned in the Dictionnaire 
desReliques of Collin de Plancy,an author who is not to be trusted 

1 Les Deniers de Judas dans la Tradi- Le Monete del Prezzo di Giuda (see above, 
tion du Moyen Age in the Revue Numis- p. 102, note 3). My thanks are due to 
matique, 1899, pp. 500-9 MM. de Villenoisy and Perdrizet for 

2 Rev. de VArt Chretien, N.S., iv. 214 f. copies of their contributions. I must also 

3 F. de Villenoisy, Le Denier de Judas acknowledge my indebtedness to the 
du Couvent des Capucins d'Enghien (Eng- late Mr. F. W. Hasluck for numerous 
hien, 1900) ; P. Perdrizet, Une Recherche references to other literature bearmg on 
a faire a Rosas in Revue des Etudes Anc. the subject. 

1902; andespecially P. LeopoldodeFeis, ^ Feis, loc. cit., p. 5. 


when he does not give his sources, they cannot be regarded as 
undoubted examples. 

Finally, I am informed by Professor Markoff, through 
M. Alexeieff, that a silver coin is preserved as one of the thirty 
at (8) the Abbey of the Trinity and St. Sergius in Moscow. 
Professor Markoff characterizes it as an evident forgery, but 
does not describe it. Another undescribed piece (9) is, I am 
informed on the same authority, preserved in the monastery of 
Souprasl near Bielostock. 

The next group consists of coins of which the description 
is known. 

Fig. 63. — Silver coins of Rhodes, fifth-fourth century B.C. (British Museum). 

Of these, no less than eight can be identified, either because 
they are still extant, or from illustrations or descriptions, as 
coins of Rhodes. For the most part, it would seem, they date 
from the fourth century before Christ. They bear on the obverse 
a facing head of the Sun-god, with flowing hair, sometimes 
surrounded by rays ; on the reverse is a rose and the inscription 
POAION. Fig. 63 shows specimens of two coins of the same class 
now in the British Museum. The coin which was in the Temple 
at Paris must, from Morand's description, have been a coin of 
the same issue as one in the British Museum,^ for it had the 
same mint-letter (A) and adjunct (thunderbolt). 

The places where these Rhodian coins were or are preserved 
are the following : 

(10) Rhodes, in the castle of the Knights of St. John. The 
earliest mention of this particular piece which I have been able 

1 Brit. Mus. Catal. of Greek Coins, Carta, p. 233, no. 26. 
1715 o 



to find is by Luchino dal Campo,^ who wrote the account of the 
visit of Niccolo HI of Este to the Holy Land in 141 3. He 
describes it as ' one of those very denarii of silver for which 
Christ was sold ; the which denarius is of the size of an agruntano.^ 
On one side is the head in relief and on the other is a flower as 
it were like the flower of a marguerite '. 

As the Rhodian piece is not mentioned in the account of the 
voyage of the Seigneur d'Anglure,^ who visited the island in 
1395, or by the Metz pilgrim in 1396, it is probable that the 
relic was only acquired between 1396 and 1413. It is unlikely 
that the Judas-penny would have been passed over, when the 
denier de Sainte Helene was mentioned.* 

^ Viaggio a Gerusalemme di Niccolo da 
Este, ed. by G. Ghinassi in Collezione di 
opere ined. o rare pubbl. per cura delta 
R. Comm. pe' Testi di Lingua nelle Prov. 
delV Emilia, i (Turin, 1861), p. 143. 

2 The editor suggests that this word 
is a mistake for agostaro (Augustale, the 
gold coin issued by Frederick II). But 
this was hardly in circulation in the 
fifteenth century, so that dal Campo 
would not be likely to use it as a measure 
of size. 

3 Bonnardot et Longnon, Le Saint 
Voyage de Jherusalem du Seigneur d'An- 
glure (Soc. des anc. Textes fran^ais, 

* Op. cit., p. 9 : ' item, ung des deniers 
de saincte Helene envaisselle en plomb, 
sur lequel on fait les buUettes de Rodes 
qui sont de si grant vertu ; et les fait on 
le jour du Grant Vendredi.' Cf. p. 94, 
note : * Item, en laidicte esglise de 
Saint Jehan nous fuit montres ung dez 
denier d'ors I'amperise saincte Eslainne, 
qui est aissis en ung pomelz de laiton et 
soldez di plont, car aultrement ne se lait 
ledit denier asseoir ne solder. Sor 
lequelz denier on fait chescun ans 
plussour bullete de virge sire, c'est 
aissavoir le jour dou Saint Vanredi, en 
tant que on dit I'ofRce en I'esglise ; 
lezquelle bullete porteet on plussour 
vertus belle et noble.' The anonymous 
pilgrim from Metz in 1396 saw the 
' denier d'or a I'effigie de sainte Helene, 
sonde en plomb a un pommier de laiton. 

dont on prend des empreintes en cire 
vierge a I'office du saint vendredi ', &c. 
See L'Austrasie, vol. ii (Metz), 1838, 
p. 234. We shall see later on the bearing 
of these passages on our investigation. 
It may be noted that Cennino Cennini 
in his treatise on painting has a chapter 
(188, p. 177, in Mrs. Herringham's 
translation) on ' how to make impres- 
sions of santelene in wax or paste ' . Sancta 
Helena was a very general term for any 
Byzantine coin of late date, especially for 
the more blundered and less artistic 
specimens. They may have got the 
name from the cross which so many of 
them bore. Hasluck (in Essays and 
Studies presented to William Ridgeway, 
Cambridge, 1913, p. 636) identifies them 
with solidi of the ninth or tenth centuries 
showing busts or figures of two emperors 
flanking a cross, in the same way as the 
eikon type of Constantine and Helena 
represents the two saints side by side 
supporting the True Cross between 
them. Compare the 'escudeletto de Sto. 
Heleno ', a cup-shaped Byzantine coin 
used as a charm {Rev. Numism., 1908, 
p. 137, where Peiresc is quoted as 
reporting that such coins were given by 
the Penitents of Aix to condemned 
criminals). Enormous quantities of By- 
zantine solidi were certainly pierced and 
worn as amulets. See Ducange, Diss, de 
Inferioris Aevi Numism., c. Ixxviii (Ixix), 
who quotes Bosius on the value of coins 
of St. Helen as a remedy against epilepsy. 



After Luchino dal Campo comes Brunner (1470) ^ and then 
Johann Tucher of Nuremberg, who went to the Holy Land in 
1479 and 1480. He mentions the coin in his description of 
Rhodes, and again, when deahng with the Potter's Field, he says, 
* I have seen one of these pennies, and three such in silver are 
worth a ducat '.^ 

Felix Fabri, after telling the story as we have already heard 
him, continues : ' After the purchase of the field they were dis- 
persed throughout all the world ; I saw one at Rhodes, of which 
Johann Tucher of Nuremberg made an impression. He made 
a model in lead and cast similar ones in silver, which he distributed 
to his friends. In the year 1485, when we were assembled at 
Nuremberg to hold the provincial chapter, the said person gave 
one of these denarii to each of the brothers. The size is the same 
as that of the cross-blafferts,^ and on one side is the face of a man 

They were widely used for this purpose ; 
for instance, Girolamo Dandini reports 
the use of this remedy in Crete {Missione 
apost., Cesena, 1656, p. 14 ; I quote the 
French transl., Voyage du Mont Liban, 
Paris, 1675, P- 18) : ' mais ce qui est 
bien plus surprenant & au dessus des 
forces de la nature, c'est une monnoye 
qu'on nomme de sainte Helene, & qu'on 
trouve dans les campagnes dont il y en 
a de cuivre & d'autre d'argent. L'on 
pretend que cette Sainte se rencontrant 
en ce pays-la sans argent fit faire de la 
monnoye de cuir, qui se changea en 
metal en la distribuant. Cette monnoye 
a encore aujourd'huy la vertu de guerir 
du mal caduc ceux qui la tiennent dans 
leur main ou I'appliquent sur leur 
chair '. Finally, I may cite a Bulgarian 
legend which gives a quaint account 
of the origin and use of the santelene, 
although that term is not used to de- 
scribe them. When the great cross was 
cut up, the sawdust and little pieces were 
collected in a cloth. The king (Constan- 
tine) mixed them with gold and silver, 
melted all down together and caused to be 
struck pieces of gold and silver money 
with the images of Constantine and 
Helena, and the Cross between them. 
These coins were presented to the 
Christian children whom it had been 

proposed to kill in order to cure the king 
with their blood. The coins of Constan- 
tine and Helena performed miracles, 
curing the sick and especially children 
on whom a spell had been cast. These 
coins were hollowed like little saucers 
so as to hold water, and this water was 
used to give drink to the sick and wash 
them We have these coins to the 
present day, and children are washed 
in this manner (Lydia Schischmanoff, 
Legendes religieuses bulgares, Paris, 1896, 
pp. 74-5). It should be observed that 
the cup-shaped or scyphate fabric of the 
coins is original, being produced by 
convex and concave dies, and not due 
to subsequent alteration for the purpose 
described. The popularity of these 
santelene can hardly have originated, as 
has been suggested, when a treasure of 
them was found at Rome in 1398, as 
recorded by Thomas Walsingham ; the 
references given above show that they 
were objects of much veneration in 1395, 
and doubtless long before. 

1 Zeitschr. d. deutsch. Paldstina-Veretns, 
xxix (1906), p. 25. 

^ Feyerabend, Bewehrtes Reysshuch 
(1659), 656, 666. 

^ Quantitas est sicut blaphordorum 
cruets, which M. de Vogiie ingeniously 
translates * il y en a autant que de clous 


and on the other is a Hly. There was certainly an inscription, 
but it cannot now be seen.' Fabri mentions the coin at Rhodes 
(in the Castle) when he comes (iii. 288) to describe the relics in 
that island. * Marguerite ' and ' lily ' are not very good descrip- 
tions of the Rhodian rose, but will pass muster for the time. 

Hans Tucher kept a reproduction of the coin in his collection, 
which consisted mainly of Roman portrait-coins : ' an example or 
cast of one of the thirty pence, for which Christ the Lord was sold, 
as indeed I Hans Tucher the elder have seen of this same penny 
two alike, namely one at Rhodes and the other at Bethlehem at 
the guardian's, both which were shown to me as true ones. 
Three of the pence are worth in silver an Hungarian gulden or 
a ducat.' ^ 

Conrad Grlinemberg of Constanz, who went to the Holy 
Land in i486, saw the relic and had a reproduction made by 
a Netherlandish goldsmith .^ 

Yet another reference to the Rhodian piece is to be found 
in Bernhard of Breydenbach's Peregrinationes ad Terr am Sanctam 
(Mainz, i486) in the chapter on the relics at Rhodes : ' item ibi 
illorum xxx. argenteorum denariorum unus esse perhibetur, 
ymmo et demonstratur, pro quibus ludas vendidit Christum 
iudeis '. 

References indeed are plentiful at this time, and we may pass 
over several dating from 1485 to 1488, and come to that which 
we find in the Stabilimenta of Guill. Caoursin.^ In describing the 
veneration which should be paid to the relics, he says : ' nor let 
less honour be paid to the silver denarius, one of those thirty 
pieces of silver at which the traitor Judas priced Christ : from 
an impression of which stamps are made in white wax every year 
while the Passion is being chanted by the priest ; which stamps 
are esteemed to be of virtue for the health of men, for the labour 
of women, and for perils by sea.' 

As we find a similar relic described as being in the possession 
of the Order at Malta, we may presume that when the knights 
left Rhodes in 1523 they brought this precious coin with them. 

a la croix '. I do not know how he arrived ^ Mitt, des Vereins f. Gesch. d. Stadt 

at this interpretation. Blaphordus or Nurnherg (1895), quoted in Monatsblatt 

blaffardus is the German Blaffert or der Num. Ges. in Wien, ix (1913), p. 108. 

Plappert, a silver coin widely current in ^ r Rohricht u. H, Meisner, Deutsche 

Germany and Switzerland in Fabri's Pilgerreisen (1880), p. 154. 

time. A variety with a cross on it was ^ Stabilimenta Rhodiorum Militum 

called Kreuzblaffert, blaphordus cruets. Sacri ordinis (1496), fol. d i verso. 


The Prior of the Order, Ant. Cressin (1556-84), used to distribute 
to pilgrims wax impressions covered with silver or gold leaf. 

(11) Rome, in S. Croce in Gerusalemme. This piece is still 
kept in a little fifteenth-century reliquary inscribed with the 
name of Cardinal Bernardin de Carvajal, and given by him 
towards the end of the fifteenth century.^ 

(12) Rosas in Catalonia (still preserved). 

(13) Oviedo, in the Camera Santa of S. Salvadore. 

(14) Paris, Church of St. John Lateran. 

(15) Paris, Temple. 

(16) Vincennes. 

(17) Enghien, still preserved in the Capuchin Convent, and 
formerly at Heverle near Louvain. It had been acquired by the 
Celestines of Heverle after the death of the Marquise Marie- 
Madeleine de Hamal (wife of Guillaume de Croy, who died in 
1521) ; she had acquired it at Rome. This is a Rhodian four- 
drachm piece with the magistrate's name API2TOKPIT02.2 M. de 
Villenoisy describes the adjunct as an ' armed man '. Curiously 
enough this adjunct is not, to my knowledge, otherwise associated 
with Aristokritos, who generally, if not always, placed an aplustre 
on the coins struck by his authority. 

(18) Another specimen with the same magistrate's name 
(API2TOKPIT05") was formerly in the Church of S. Francesco dei 
Riformati at Spezia. Its true character, as a Rhodian coin, was 
discovered by a scholar in 1787.^ Considering the innumerable 
varieties of the Rhodian coinage, the existence of two coins of 
Aristokritos among these relics is remarkable, unless one was 
a reproduction of the other. 

(19) Bethlehem : seen by Hans Tucher (see above). 
Rouille, in his Promptuaire des Medailles,^ gives, together with 


See especially B. de Montault, loc. of money which Judas received for our 

cit. I have not been able to consult his Saviour, which hath something like this 

Antiquites chretiennes de Rome, in which [rude attempt at a rose] on one side and 

the rehquary is photographed. M, de a face on the other '. It looks as if Sharp 

Mely gives a sketch. Mr. A. H. S. had in his memoranda confused the Chigi 

Yeames calls my attention to a passage in Palace with S. Croce. 

the manuscript Travels of R. Sharp ^ Cf. B.V. Head, British Museum Catal. 

(Brit. Mus. Sloane MS. 1522) : on of Greek Coins, Carta, p. 241, no. 122. 

May 15, 1 70 1, he says, ' We went to Feis has failed to recognize that the 

Ghigies Palace [Palazzo Chigi in Rome] Heverle and Enghien pieces are identical, 

and saw a shekel of the sanctuary which ^ Peis, p. 5. 

the man told me was worth a Roman ^ Lyon, 1553, part ii. 10. 

crown and a half, one of the 30 pieces <^ 



an imaginary medallic portrait of Judas, a reproduction of one 
of the Rhodian coins. The engraver has made the A of POAION 
into an A (fig. 64). 

(20) Another Greek coin which was utiUzed for this pious 
purpose was one of the famous silver ten-drachm pieces of 
Syracuse, struck at the end of the fifth or beginning of the fourth 
century B.C. On the reverse was a chariot-group, below which 
were the prize arms competed for in the Assinarian games. On 
the obverse was the female head now generally identified as Are- 
thusa ; behind it a small shell by which we are enabled to identify 
the exact variety. The specimen, which has since unfortunately 

Fig. 64. — Medallic portrait of Judas Iscariot, and reproduction of a Rhodian 
coin, from Rouille's Promptuaire des Medailles. 

disappeared, and of which the provenance was never known, was 
framed in a gold mount and inscribed in Gothic letters Quia 
precium sanguinis est} 

(21) An ancient barbarous Celtic imitation of a silver tetra- 
drachm of Philip II of Macedon, with a head of Zeus on the 
obverse, and a mounted jockey on the reverse, may next be 
mentioned ; this was mounted in a silver disc which bears the 
engraved inscription, of about 1700 : ' Das 1st Der Rechten 
Silberlinge Einer Davor Christus Verkauft Worten.' ^ 

; (22) Still preserved in the treasury of the Cathedral of Sens, 
and mentioned in an inventory of 1464, is a silver dirhem of the 
Egyptian Sultan El-Ashraf Salah-al-din Khalil, of the Bahri 
Mamluks (a.d. 1290-3).^ 

(23) M. de Mely refers incidentally to the coins once 

1 Matthew xxvii. 6. It is described 
in Rollin and Feuardent's Catalogue d'une 
Coll. de Medailles, Paris, 1864, p. 124, 
no. 1769, where it is wrongly called an 

^ Daheim, 1906, no, 43, p. 20. The 
writer says that it was sent to him from 

3 Cf. de Montault, p. 218, who quotes 
from a seventeenth-century inventory. 


preserved in the church of S. Eustorgio at Milan ; but he does 
not give them a place in his list. Ughelli, however, to whom he 
refers, describes them as monetae quaedam ex its, quas Christo 
Magos trihuti nomine ohtulisse pie credunt} The legends which 
we have discussed above show that these coins may perhaps be 
classed with the ' Thirty Pieces '. Later authorities speak only 
of a single gold coin, which as a matter of fact was a solidus of the 
Emperor Zeno (a.d. 474-91). It was known as the ducato dei tre 
Magi. AUegranza suggested that the remains of the three kings 
had been translated to Milan in the reign of Zeno, and a coin 
of his reign placed in the coffin from which it was afterwards 
extracted. This, however, is a pure conjecture. All that is 
certain is that this solidus was exposed for the public worship 
as one of the gold coins offered to Christ by the Magi.^ 

Finally, Feis has been able to add, at one stroke, no less than 
nine more specimens (24-32), for he cites Ant. Masini {Bologna 
perlustrata, 1650, p. 51) as evidence that, in SS. Trinita di 
S. Stefano in Bologna, one of the shekels for which Judas sold 
Christ was placed on each of the nine columns which support 
the high altar. From the description which Masini gives it is 
clear that these were specimens (or reproductions) of the Jewish 
shekels attributed by some authorities to Simon Maccabaeus, 
by others to the First Revolt against Rome (see above, pp. 78-9). 

To the above list, it will be observed, Russia so far has con- 
tributed only two examples. It is highly probable that inquiry 
in the proper quarters would reveal others in that country. 
In spite of considerable search I have found no mention of any 
such relic in Germany, and England too seems to have been 
without one.^ 

By the Capuchins of Enghien the legend POAION is 
explained as [H] POAION, ' coin of Herod '. This fact seems 
to favour M. de Mely's suggestion that in the superficial resem- 
blance between the names of Herod and Rhodes lay the reason 
for the association of these coins with the Thirty Pieces of Silver. 
Otherwise why should so large a proportion of the relics (eight 
out of the ten or eleven which can be identified) be of this particular 

1 Italia Sacra (1719), tome iv, cols. 27, iv (1793), PP- ^^5' ^86 ; and H. J. Floss, 
28. Dreikonigenhuch (1864), p. 56. 

2 See Delle antichitd longohardico- ^ The late Sir W. H. St. John Hope 
milanesi illustr. con dissert, dai monaci confirmed me in this particular. 

della congreg. cisterciese di Lombardia, 


class ? M. Babelon, however, throws doubt on this hypothesis. 
He points out that Rouille makes no allusion to Herod, and has 
allowed his engraver to give the inscription as POAION (for 
POMAION) ; the text of the gospel gives no ground for thinking 
of coins of Herod. Further, he cites Mommsen as proving from 
an inscription that the coins of Rhodes even in Roman times were 
prized for their beauty. It must, however, be admitted that 
Mommsen's interpretation of the inscription goes beyond the 
evidence ; the Rhodian coins may have had a higher exchange 
value than others of the same weight, but we do not know that 
their beauty was the cause. In matters of this sort beauty counts 
for little. Probably the Rhodian coins had a reputation for 
purity. Again, the A in Rouille 's engraving is doubtless a mere 
slip on the engraver's part ; he would not be the only engraver 
who, from ignorance of Greek, has made this mistake, nor 
Rouille the only numismatist who has allowed it to pass. Is 
not the word given as POAION in one of the illustrations repro- 
duced by M. de Mely from the work of Budaeus ? Again, the 
quantity of the o in Herod's name would, in those days, offer no 
obstacle to the identification. Nor has the objection drawn from 
the text of the gospel much force ; after all, ' pieces of silver ' 
could be interpreted as coins of Herod no less than as Roman 
coins. M. Babelon's first objection has more validity than the 
others. There is no trace of this connexion with Herod in any 
of the older literature. On some of the relics, as on that at 
Rhodes itself, we know that the inscription was quite obliterated. 
These then could not have been chosen because of the reason 
suggested by M. de Mely. 

The true reason, after all, is a very simple one, and has only 
escaped notice because the presence of the specimen in the castle 
at Rhodes was not recorded by M. de Mely, on whose researches 
all subsequent discussion of the question has been based. It must 
be remembered that a very large number of the pilgrims to the 
Holy Land would see the relics in the Castle. Now Rhodian 
coins must have been as common in the Levant then as now, and, 
being of striking beauty, once seen were not easily forgotten. The 
pilgrim would thus recognize another Rhodian coin, if shown him, 
as similar to the one at Rhodes. Here then, to his mind, was 
a possible ' Judas-penny '. It was thus inevitable that many 
such pieces should find their way into shrines. 

This theory seems to me to explain why so many Rhodian 


coins figure in our list. But, it will be asked, Why was the 
particular relic at Rhodes selected for the purpose ? To this it 
might be answered, Why was the Egyptian dirhem or the Syra- 
cusan decadrachm chosen ? But it is not necessary thus to evade 
the question. As we have seen, the Rhodian church possessed at 
the end of the fourteenth century a gold coin of the Empress 
Helena, impressions or facsimiles of which, made under certain 
circumstances of peculiar solemnity, were of great virtue. Now 
the Voyage du Seigneur d'Anglure, which mentions this gold coin 
of St. Helena in 1395, does not mention the silver 'Judas-penny '. 
Conversely, the later authorities, beginning in 141 3, who mention 
the ' Judas-penny ', do not mention the coin of St. Helena. Finally 
we learn that impressions were made of the ' Judas-penny ' 
under the same circumstances and with the same effect as in the 
case of the coin of St. Helena. 

The ' Judas-penny ' then, early in the fifteenth century, had 
taken the place of the gold coin of St. Helena. And I think, 
on the evidence before us, we shall not be unjust to the knights 
in suggesting that, the latter having disappeared, the authorities 
found it necessary to have some other relic of equally miraculous 
properties. They might perhaps have obtained one of the 
aurei of St. Helen which, as we have seen (p. 107, note), were 
found in Rome in 1398. But if they were for any reason hard 
pressed, nothing could be easier to obtain in Rhodes than an 
ancient Rhodian coin ; and if the inscription on it were obliterated, 
so much the better. 

In the light of the fact that reproductions in silver were made 
by people like Johann Tucher, particular interest attaches to 
a piece cast in silver and now preserved at Paris in the Cabinet 
des Medailles in the Bibliotheque Nationale.^ As will be seen 
from the illustration (fig. 65), we have a considerably debased ^ 
reproduction of a Rhodian coin of the kind with which we are 
familiar. In the mould of the obverse have been added the words 
IMAGO CESAR IS in lettering of the fifteenth century. The man 
who added them obviously argued as follows : This coin, one of 
the thirty pence for which Christ was sold, must have been one 

1 Published by M. de Mely in Rev. is another specimen, also cast, in the 
Numism., 1901, pp. 262 ff. M. de la University Collection at Helsingfors. 
Tour informed me that the piece is ^ So much debased in style that many 
undoubtedly cast, not struck. From reproductions must have intervened, one 
Mr. L. O. Tudeer I learn that there would think, between the original and this. 

1715 P 


of those about which He asked the question, ' Whose image and 
superscription is this ? ' Therefore the head is that of Caesar, 
and the fact may as well be made clear in the reproductions which 
I am issuing. 

In a painting of doubtful date, in the manner of Lucas van 
Leyden, referred to above (p. 87), the Thirty Pieces are repre- 
sented by the imitations of the Jewish shekel which became 
popular early in the sixteenth century. It is curious that the 
genuine Jewish shekel and this much commoner imitation appear 
so rarely among the actual relics which have been identified. 

Fig. 65. — Silver reproduction of fourth-century coin of Rhodes, fifteenth century. 

Before the sixteenth century the Jewish shekel was probably 
quite unknown in Europe ; and doubtless most of the relics 
which we have discussed were acquired much earlier. Neverthe- 
less it seems puzzling that no shrine availed itself in the sixteenth 
century of these imitations, which were undoubtedly regarded 
as genuine by the vast majority of people, then as now. 

Having dealt with matters of fiction, it would be unreasonable 
did we not attempt to satisfy ourselves on the much more prosaic 
question : What were the coins actually in circulation in Judaea 
in the time of Christ ? Our choice lies practically between two 
kinds of silver coin.^ 

The piece which both English versions of the New Testa- 

1 M. de Villenoisy, by a curious was, however, of M. de Villenoisy's 
reversion to the argument of Godfrey opinion ; for, as Mr. Herbert informs me, 
of Viterbo, suggests that the coins according to this work (edited by Tischen- 
described by St. Matthew as to, rpiaKovTa dorf, Evang. Apocr., 1853, p. 440, from 
dpyvpLa {triginta argenteos) were really a twelfth-century and other manuscripts) 
gold pieces, on the ground that argentum, the Jews bribed Judas with rpiaKovTa 
argenteus had become synonymous with apyvpia xpva-iov. Of course no argument 
* money ', without regard to the metal, can be based on evidence of this date. 
This may be true of the collective noun Feis discusses the question of the thirty 
TO apyvpior, but I do not think it can apyvpia at great length, and comes, on 
be proved of to. apyvpia in the sense of grounds which appear to me to be in- 
separate pieces of money. The author adequate, to the conclusion that they 
of the Narratio of Joseph of Arimathaea were Roman denarii. 



ment call a ' penny ' was the ordinary Roman silver denarius, 
worth about g^d. The specimen here illustrated (fig. 68) shows 
on the obverse the laureate ' image ' of the Emperor Tiberius 
with his ' superscription ' ti(berivs) caesar divi avg(vsti) 
f(ilivs) avgvstvs ; on the reverse is the Empress Livia seated, 
and the inscription pontif(ex) maxim(vs), completing the titles 
of Tiberius. 

But it is much more probable that we have to look for the 
Thirty Pieces of Silver in another kind of coin, corresponding in 
weight to the shekel. Such coins were not issued at this time by any 

Fig. 66 

Fig. 68 

Fig. 67 

Figs. 66-8. — Staters of Tyre and Antioch, and denarius of Tiberius 

(British Museum). 

mint in Judaea itself; but the large silver four-drachm pieces of the 
mint of Tyre, weighing from 224 to 220 grains troy, and often 
less than this, were in common circulation. There were also coins, 
struck at the great city of Antioch on the Orontes, of which the 
weight sometimes rises as high as 236 grains troy. Such coins of 
Tyre or of Antioch are meant by the ' staters ' mentioned in the 
New Testament. Fig. 66, a four-drachm piece of Tyre, has on 
the obverse a laureate head of the Phoenician god Melkarth, who 
appears in his Hellenized form of Herakles. On the reverse is 
an eagle standing on the prow of a vessel, with a palm branch over 
its shoulder ; around is the name of the city, ' Tyre the sacred 
and inviolable sanctuary '. In front of the bird is a club, the 
emblem of the god whose head appears on the obverse. In the 
field of the coin are also a date (corresponding in this case to 
4-3 B.C.) and a monogram differentiating this issue from others. 

p 2 


The staters of Antioch are better works of art than those of 
Tyre. On the obverse of the specimen in fig. 67 is a fine laureate 
head of Augustus, with the Greek inscription ' of Caesar Augustus '. 
On the reverse is represented the famous personification of the 
City of Antioch by the sculptor Euty chides : a female figure, 
wearing a mural crown, and holding a palm branch, seated on 
a rock ; at her feet is a half-figure of the river-god Orontes in 
a swimming attitude. The inscription around identifies the piece 
as a coin 'of the metropolis of the Antiochians ', and letters in the 
field fix its date to a.d. ii. 

To one of these two classes, Tyrian or Antiochian, then, 
belonged not only the stater which was taken out of the mouth of 
the fish, and which, being equivalent in weight to a shekel, was 
sufficient to pay the tax for two people ; but also probably the 
thirty pieces of silver, which altogether must have been equivalent 
to something between ^^ 10s. and ^^ in our money. 


Mr. H. H. E. Craster kindly calls my attention to two short 
poems by the fourteenth-century writer Nicephorus Callistus (see 
above, p. 10) contained in a Bodleian manuscript (MS. Auct. E. 5. 
14 = cod. misc. 79 in Coxe's Catalogue) contemporary with the 
author. The poems (which are mentioned by Krumbacher, Byz. 
Litter aturgesch., 2e. Aufl., p. 292) celebrate two gems bearing 
portraits of Christ : a crystal, and an amethyst made to the order 
of the Emperor. It is not clear whether they were intaglios or 
cameos. With Olga's stone (p. 33) we thus know of three Byzantine 
gems with the portrait of Christ in addition to the emerald sent to 
the Vatican. 

Mr. J. Leveen makes a new suggestion concerning the crux 
of the Hebrew inscription (p. 53). As it reaches me too late for 
insertion in the proper place, I am glad to be able to record it 
here. ' A reading of these letters which has not been suggested 
is UIH^ *jX1. If we examine the final kaph of "p^ we see that 
the letter which is assumed to be a *T or n can also be read as 
a final kaph. There are two translations possible of this new 
reading : (i) " and only from a man " ; (2) " and only from 
blood ". The word for " blood " in New Hebrew is Ul^ or K^nx 
as well as the biblical DT.' 



' A ' , German engraver's signature, 25. 
' Aaron's rod ', on shekels, 82 f. 
Abgarus of Edessa, King, 94 f., loi . 
Abondio, Antonio, medallist, 68. 
Abraham and the Thirty Pieces, 92, 94, 

Acco, the Thirty Pieces corned at, 103. 
Agnus Dei on Christ-medals, 73 f. 
* Agruntano ', a coin, 106. 
Aix in Provence, Judas-penny at, 104. 
Albonesius, Theseus Ambrosius, 47 f. 
Amethyst with head of Christ, 116. 
Amico di Bartolommeo, artist, 62. 
Amulets, medals as, 57 f. ; see also 

Anglure, Seigneur d', visits Rhodes, 106, 

Anthony of Novgorod on treasures of 

St. Sophia, 33, 102. 
Antioch, coins of, in time of Christ, 116. 
Apocalypse of Adam, 94. 
Aramaic elements in modern Hebrew, 

Argentei, 98, 114 n. 

apyvpta y^pvaiov, II4n. 

Aristokritos, Rhodian coin issued by, 109. 
Armenian astrologer and the Thirty 

Pieces, 92, 95, loi. 
Ashmolean Museum ; see Oxford. 
Ashraf Salah-al-din Khalil, E1-, coin of, 

Attel, Engelbert I, Abbot of, 75. 

Babelon , M . E . , on the Thirty Pieces , 1 1 2 . 
Badwini (Bedouins), 100. 
Baltasar, Dom, of Vallombrosa, 23. 
Barnett, Dr. L. D., on Hebrew medals, 

Barow, story of Thirty Pieces written by, 

Barwell enamel, 32, 43. 
Basilewsky Collection, medallion in, 41 . 
Basra, Solomon of, 93 f. 
Becker, C. W., forger, 81. 

Bedouin shepherd finds the Thirty 

Pieces, 98, 100. 
Bells, medals or coins used in decorating, 

17, 19,90. 
Berlin : 

Kaiser- Friedrich Museum : encolpion 
with heads of Peter and Paul, 41 ; 
medals of Christ, 13 n., 17, 19, 23, 
51, 62, 63, 71, 73 ; plaquette with 
Christ and Virgin, 30, 43 ; portrait 
of Christ, Flemish school, 31 f. ; 
Roman ring with confronted busts, 
St. Nicholas : false shekel deposited 
in spire of, 84. 
Bethlehem, Judas-penny at, 108. 
Bibliotheque Nationale ; see Paris. 
Bignoux, relief found at, 24. 
Blaffert, a coin, 107. 
Blaphardus crucis, a coin, 107. 
Bode, W. von, on Christ-medals, 32, 

33 n. 
Bodleian Library ; see Oxford. 
Bodwyny (Bedouins), 106. 
Bologna, SS. Trinita di S. Stefano, 

Judas-pennies at, iii. 
Bosch, Don P. ; see Madrid. 
Brera ; see Milan. 
Breydenbach, Bernhard of, 108. 
British Museum ; see London. 
Brunner, his visit to Rhodes (1470), 107. 
Bulgarian legend of coins of St. Helen, 

107 n. 
BuUettes de Rhodes, 106 n. 
Burgkmair, Hans, engraver, 25 f. 
Byzantine : coins worn as charms, 106 n.; 
type of Christ, n, 35 f., 42. 

Calvary on Christ medals, 59 f., 62 ; see 

also Crucifixion. 
Campo, Luchino dal, 106. 
Caoursin, Guillaume, 108. 
Capernaum, the Thirty Pieces struck at, 




Carvajal, Bernardin de, his reliquary in 
S. Croce, Rome, 109. 

Castel di Sangro, Christ-medal found at, 

Cave of the Treasures, 94. 

Cavino, Giovanni dal, medallist, 64 f. 

Cavino, Vincenzo dal, medallist, 65. 

Celtic coin as Judas-penny, no. 

Censer-shekels, 82 ff. 

Chalice ; see Cup. 

Charms ; see Amulets, Epilepsy. 

Christ in art : on Byzantine coins, 11 ; 
medals, 9 ff. ; northern MSS. and 
paintings, 35 f. ; in legend of the 
Thirty Pieces, 91 ff. ; literary descrip- 
tions of, 9 f . 

Clenodium = treasure, 19 f. 

Constantinople ; see St. Sophia. 

Conway, Sir M., on origin of Christ- 
medal, 41. 

Corneille de la Haye, artist, 47. 

Cross, History of the Holy, 102. 

* Crowns ' of silver, the thirty, 102. 

Crucifixion on Christ-medals, 64, 71 ; 
see also Calvary. 

Crystals with head of Christ, 62, 116. 

Cup on Jewish shekels, 78. 

Cup-shaped coins, Byzantine, 107 n. 

Dandini, Girolamo, 107 n. 

David and the Holy Rood, 102. 

Davie, Adam, 99. 

Denarii : of Judas, 91 ff. ; of St. Helena, 

106, 113 ; Roman, in time of Christ, 

114 n. 
Dionysius of Telmahre, 94. 
Djem imprisoned at Rome, 32. 
Domitilla, Cemetery of, disc from, 41 n. 
Dresden, engraving by ' A ' at, 25 n. 
Dreyfus, M. Gustave, medal belonging 

to, 12 n. 

Ebersberg, Sig. Kundlinger, Abbot of, 

Edessa, portrait of Christ, 35 n. ; see 

also Abgarus. 
Emerald engraved with heads of Christ 

and St. Paul, 32 ff. 
Emerich, G., his Holy Sepulchre at 

Gorlitz, 87. 
Enamels with Christ-types, 30, 32. 
Engelbert I, Abbot of Attel, medal of, 75. 

Enghien, Judas-penny at, 109. 

Engravings and woodcuts of Christ- 
medals, 24 ff. 

Ephraim ; see Pseudo-Ephraim. 

Epilepsy (falling - sickness), charms 
against, 58, 106 n. 

' Escudeletto di Sto, Heleno ', 106 n. 

Evans, Sir J., on forgeries of shekel, 83. 

Eyck, Jan van, Christ-portrait of his 
school, 31 f. 

Fabri, Felix, pilgrim, 100. 

Fall of Adam, on Christ-medal, 69. 

Falling-sickness ; see Epilepsy. 

Feis, P. Leop. de, on the Thirty Pieces, 

Ferares, M. S., on Hebrew medals, 47 ff. 
Flemish type of Christ, 35. 
Floetner, Peter, medallist, 70 f. 
Florence : 
Academy : portrait of Dom Baltasar 

by Perugino (?), 23. 
Bargello (Mus. Nazionale) : medals, 

22, 23, 60, 62, 67 n. 
Laurentiana : manuscript with repro- 
duction of medal, 46. 
Or San Michele, Verrocchio's Christ 

and St. Thomas, 36 n. 
S. Maria dei Candeli, Judas-penny, 

SS. Annunziata, Judas-penny, 104. 
Uffizi, picture of school of Lucas van 
Leyden, 87, 114. 
Florentine medals of Christ, 23, 40. 
FroUch, E., on false shekels, 83. 
Fulda, miniature of Christ at, 30. 

Garment of Christ ; see Seamless Gar- 

Gedaliah, lieutenant of Nebuchadnezzar, 
97 n. 

Gems : with confronted busts, 41 ; 
emerald with heads of Christ and 
St. Paul, 32 ff. ; Byzantine, with head 
of Christ, 33, 116. 

Germain, L., on Christ-medals, 57. 

German : medals of Christ, 63, 70-7 ; 
woodcuts and engravings of, 24 ff. 

Gnostic Apocrypha, 93 f. 

Godfrey of Viterbo, his legend of the 
Thirty Pieces, 91 ff., 95. 

Godolia, kingdom of, 97, 100 n 



Godolias, 97, 100. 

Gorlitz, Holy Sepulchre at, 87. 

Greene, Mr. T. W., medal belonging to, 

Gregory XIII, medals of, 66 f. 
Griinemberg, Conrad, copies the Rho- 

dian Judas-penny, 108. 

Hagenauer, F., medallist, 72. 

Hasluck, F. W., on santelene, 106 n. 

Hebrew inscriptions : on Christ-medals, 
14, 45, 47 ff. ; on shekels, 79 f. 

Helsingfors (Finland), copy of Judas- 
penny at, 113 n. 

Helsing0r (Denmark), St. Olaus, medal- 
lion in bell, 17. 

Henderson, Dr. Thomas, medal belong- 
ing to, 49, 53. 

Herod , Judas-pennies connected with , 1 09 . 

Heverle, Judas-penny formerly at, 109. 

Hildesheim, John of, 97 ff. 

Holy Rood-tree, History of the, 102. 

Innocent VIII receives relics from 

Bajazet II, 32. 
Inquisition in Rome, its persecution of 

Jews, 54. 

Jennings, Hargrave, 81. 

Jesus, name of, on Hebrew medals, 54 f. ; 

trigram of, 45. 
Jews in Rome in sixteenth century, 54 ff. 
Jobert, Louis, on Christ-medals, 48. 
John of Damascus, his description of 

Christ, 9 f. 
John of Hildesheim on the Three Kings, 

96 ff. 
Judas-pennies (the Thirty Pieces of 

Silver), 91 ff. 
Julius III, medals of, 66. 

Kings of the East, History of the, 96, 


Kundlinger, Sigismund, Abbot of Ebers- 
berg, 75. 

Lance-head, the sacred, 32. 
Lentulus, Publius, the letter of, 9 f. 
Leonardo da Vinci ; see Vinci. 
Leoni, Leone, medallist, 60 f. 
Le Puy, Notre-Dame, Judas-penny in, 

Leusden, J., on false shekels, 84. 
Levy, M. A., on false shekels, 83. 

Lily, flowering, on Jewish shekels, 78. 
London : 

British Museum : 

Coins: of Antioch, 115 ; the Jews, 
79 f. ; Rhodes, 108 ; Tiberius, 
115 ; Tyre, 115. 
Crystal intagUo with head of Christ, 

Drawing wrongly attributed to 

Leonardo, 44 n. 
Enamel (Barwell), 32, 43. 
Manuscripts: 15265, 36 n.; 17267, 

35 n.; 17280, 35 n.; 18851, 

35 n. ; 22553, loi ; 34139. loi J 
34276, 100 ; 34294 (Sforza 
Hours), 36 n.; 35313, 35 n. ; 
Sloane 2471, 35 n. 
Medals of Christ, i-^-jj passim. 
Tapestry panel with head of Christ, 

29 n. 
Tile, Lyonnese, witW'^headfof the 
Baptist, 37. 
Victoria and Albert Museum : 

Busts (bronze) of Pius IV and Sixtus 

V, 62. 
Enamel (Limoges) after Salvator- 

medal, 30. 
Medals of Christ, 13 and n., 17, 20, 
76 n., 77. 
Longperier, Adrien de, medal formerly 

belonging to, 37. 
Louvre ; see Paris. 
Lucas van Ley den, painting of his school 

in the Uffizi, 87, 1 14. 
Lucca, Santo Volto of, 36 n. 
Ludolph of Suchem on the Thirty 

Pieces, 96 f. 
Lumley Castle, medal attributed to 

Raphael formerly at, 30. 
Luther, bust of, on reverse of medal, 71. 
Lyon, S., on censer-shekel, 88. 
Lyonnese school, 37 f. 

Madrid, medal in collection of Don 

P. Bosch at, 13. 
Magi, offerings of the, 92, 94 f., 97 f., 

lOI, III. 

Maler, Valentin, medallist, 66, 76 f. 

Malta, Judas-penny at, 108. 

Manna, pot of, supposed representation 

of, 82. 
Marcellus II, medal of, 57. 



Medals : of Christ, 9-77 ; method of 
casting, 16 n. ; of producing varieties 
of, 17 n. ; use as charms, 57 f. 

Melanchthon, Philip, his interpretation 
of the shekel, 86 f. 

Mely, M. F. de, on Christ-medals, 33 f. ; 
on the Thirty Pieces, 104. 

Metz, pilgrim of (1396), 106, 

Milan : 

Brera : altar-piece by Montagna, 15. 
Museo artistico : medals, 17, 60, 62. 
S. Eustorgio : relic of the Magi, iii. 
Trivulzio Collection : miniature after 
medal, 44, 

Miniatures reproducing medals, 46. 

Mola, Gaspare, medallist, 69. 

Monk, head of, on medal, 23. 

Montagna, Bartolommeo, altar-piece in 
Brera, 15. 

Montanus, Ben. Arias, on Hebrew 
shekels, 85. 

Montault, Barbier de, on Christ-medals, 
30, 36 ; on the Thirty Pieces, 104. 

Montserrat (Catalonia), Judas-penny at, 

Morghen, Raphael, engraving of Trivul- 
zio miniature, 43. 

Moscow, Trinity and St. Sergius, Judas- 
penny, 105. 

Moses and the Thirty Pieces, loi. 

Munich, medals of Christ at, 71, 75 f. 

Murdoch Collection, Christ-medal, 51. 

Nancy, St.-Evre, medallion in bell, 19. 
Nebuchadnezzar and the Thirty Pieces, 

92, 94> 97- 
Nicaula, Queen, 92. 

Niccolo Fiorentino, medallist, 33 n., 40. 
Nicephorus Callistus (XanthopouUos), 

description of Christ, 10; of gems, 116. 
Ninus, King of the Assyrians, 91, 96. 

Olga, Grand-Duchess, her silver dish at 
St. Sophia, 33. 

Oppenheimer, Mr. Henry, medals be- 
longing to, 12 n., 24, 62. 

Orendel, King, legend of, 95. 

Oviedo, Judas-penny at, 109. 

Oxford : 

Ashmolean Museum, medals of Christ, 

17, 22. 
Bodleian Library, MS. Laud. Misc. 
622, 99 n. 

Paintings and miniatures : Montagna 
(Brera), 15 ; reproducing Christ- 
medals, 29 ff., 44, 46 ; school of Jan 
van Eyck (Berlin), 30 ff. ; school of 
Lucas van Leyden (Uffizi), 87, 114. 

Papal Mint, Christ-medals produced by, 
56 ff., 66 f. 

Paris : 

Bibliotheque Nationale : Byzantine 
cameo, 35 n. ; dies of medal by 
Cavino, 64 ; Judas-penny, copy of, 
113; manuscript (Lat. 12947), 46 n. ; 
medals of Christ, 13 n., 56, 64 ; 
shekel, false, 88. 
Louvre : sketch for Christ-medal in 

Recueil Vallardi, 12. 
St. John Lateran, Judas-penny, 109. 
Temple, Judas-penny, 109. 

Parma, medal by Cavino, 64. 

Pasti, Matteo de', of Verona, medallist, 
12 f., 72. 

Paul IV, medals of, 57, 66 f. 

Penicaud, J., enameller, 30. 

Perugino, portraits attributed to, 23. 

Pforzheim, engraving of 1507 published 
at, 25. 

Philip H of Macedon, imitation of coin 
of, as Judas-penny, 1 10. 

Pius IV, bust of, 62 ; medals of, 66 f. 

Pius V, medal of, 56, 66. 

Plaquette with half-figures of Christ and 
Virgin, 30 ; with head of Christ, 16. 

Poitiers, stone-relief at, 24. 

Pope, bust of, with devil on tiara, 70. 

Postel, G., his figure of the shekel, 81 n., 
86 f. 

Potiphar buys Joseph with the Thirty 
Pieces, 99. 

Prayer, smoking censer as symbol of, 87. 

Pseudo-Ephraim, his Cave of the Trea- 
sures, 94. 

Raphael, medallion of Christ attributed 
to, 30 ; portraits of Dom Baltasar and 
Dom Biagio attributed to, 23. 

Read, Sir C. Hercules, medal belonging 
to, 20. 

Relics, coins as, 103 n. 

Rheineck, Ct. Thomas of, 72. 

Rhodes, Castle of the Knights, coins of 
St. Helen and Rhodes as relics, 105 ff., 
112 f. 



Rhodian coins used as Judas-pennies, 

105 ff. ; the reason therefor, iii ff. 
Rome : Christ medals made at, 40, 56 ff., 
66 f. 
S. Croce in Gerusalemme, Judas- 
penny in, 109. 
Vatican : emerald with heads of 
Christ and St. Paul, 32 f, ; medal- 
lion (bronze) with confronted busts, 
Rondot, N., on Christ-medal, 37. 
Rosas (Catalonia), Judas-penny at, 109. 
Rosenheim, Mr. Maurice, medals belong- 
ing to, 62, 65 f., 73 f. 
Rossi, Giovan Antonio de', medallist, 

55 ff., 62, 67. 
Rouille, G. : his apology for inventing 
medals, 89 ; engraving of Christ- 
medal, 46 f. ; of medal of Judas and 
Rhodian Judas-penny, 109. 

Saba, land of, 92, 96 ff., 100. 

Sachs, Hans, woodcut of Christ medal 

in work by, 28. 
S. Agnese, Catacomb of, plaque from, 41. 
St. Anselm, description of Christ attri- 
buted to, 9 n. 
St. Bartholomew, his ' Discourse to the 

Armenians ' and other apocrypha, 93. 
St. Denis, Judas-penny at, 104. 
St. Helena, gold ' denarius ' of, at 

Rhodes, 106, 113. 
St. John Baptist, head of, on Lyonnese 

tile, 37. 
St. Livrade, medallion found at, 14. 
St. Matthew, Apocryphal Gospel of, 95. 
St. Maurice, gold coin, relic of, 103 n. 
St. Paul, on medals, 20, 22, 24, 32, 34 n., 

36, 39 f. ; with St. Peter, 41 f. 
St. Peter and St. Paul, confronted heads 

of, 41 f. 
St. Sophia, treasures of, 33 ff., 102. 

* Sancta Helena ', name of a coin, 106 n. 
Santamaria, Sig. P., medal belonging to, 


* Santelene ', 106 n. 

Schmauser, Johann, Abbot of Ebersberg, 

Schwab, M., on Hebrew medals, 51 ff. 
' Scudati mutenes ', 98 n. 
Scuti mutones, 98. 

Seamless garment of Christ, 92, 95, 99. 
Sens, Egyptian dirhem as Judas-penny 

at, no. 
Sforza, Guido Ascanio, Cardinal, 66. 
Sheba, Queen of, 96 f., loi. 
Shekels, Jewish, true and false, 78 ff. ; 

as Judas-pennies, in, 114. 
Simeon HI, son of Gamaliel H, 80. 
Simon Bar Cochba, 80. 
Sixtus V, bronze bust of, 62. 
Solomon, Bishop of Basra, 93 f. 
Solomon, King, and the Thirty Pieces in 

his Temple, 92, 94, 97 f., 102. 
Souprasl near Bielostock, Judas-penny at, 

Spezia, S. Francesco dei Riformati, 
Judas-penny at, 109. 

Spinelli, Niccolo ; see Niccolo Fiorentino. 

Suchem, Ludolph of, on the Thirty 
Pieces, 96 f. 

Syracuse, ten-drachm piece of, as Judas- 
penny, no. . , 

Tapestry panel with portrait of Christ, 

29 n. 
Temple : on Jewish shekels, 80 ; the 

Thirty Pieces in Solomon's, 92, 94, 

97 f., 102. 
Terah, the Thirty Pieces made by, 91, 

94, 96. 
Terracotta reproducing Christ-medal, 30, 
Thirty Pieces of Silver, legend and relics 

of, 91 ff. 
Transfiguration on Christ-medal, 64. 
Trinity on medal by Cavino, 64. 
Tucher , Johann , on Judas-pennies , 1 07 ff . , 

Tyre, coins of, in time of Christ, 115. 

Ulrich, Abbot of Zweth, 76. 

Verona, San Fermo Maggiore, Cruci- 
fixion fresco, 36 n. 
Verrocchio, Andrea del, medal attributed 

to, 36 n., 40. 
Viennese medal of Christ, 73 . 
Villalpandus, J. B., his illustration of 

censer-shekel, 85 f. 
Vincennes, Judas-penny at, 109. 
Vinci, Leonardo da ; his influence on 
j Christ-medals, 43 f. ; drawing and 
I miniature wrongly attributed to, 44. 



Virgin Mary : busts of Christ and, 
associated, 30, 32, 43, 63, 69 ; loses 
the Thirty Pieces of Silver, 92, 95, 97. 

Visitation, on medal, 73. 

Viterbo, Godfrey of, his legend of the 
Thirty Pieces, 91 ff. 

Wagheuens, G., bell-founder, 17. 

Waser, Caspar : on Hebrew medal, 52 f. ; 
on Hebrew shekels, 84 f. ; his inven- 
tions, ibid. 

William of Tyre, his continuator, refers 
to Thirty Pieces, 103. 

Woodcut of 1538 reproducing Christ- 
medal, 28. 

XanthopouUos (Nicephorus Callisti), 10. 

Zeno, gold coin of, as offering of Magi, 

Zizim ; see Djem. 
Zweth, Ulrich, Abbot of, 76. 


Agnus Dei qui tollis pcta mundi 1551, 74. 
Agnus Dei qui tollit pcta mundi 

MDXLIX, 73. 
Animam meam pono pro ovibus meis, 23. 
'ApioTOKptro?, 109. 

Beati qui custodiunt vias meas, 66. 
Benedicite in excelsis Deo, &c., 22. 

Christo confixus sum cruci, 24. 
Christus Rex venit in pace Deus homo 

f actus est, 47. 
C. pri. C, C. privi. C, 76. 
Cristus, 70. 

Das ist der rechten Silberlinge Einer, 

&c., no. 
Deus trinus et unus, 64. 
Domin. regit me et nihil mihi deerit, 76. 
Dus. Christus Rex venit in pace con- 

scendens in celos vivit, 72. 

Ecce agnus Dei qui tollit peccata, 75. 
Effigies Salvatoris mundi quae ante 

multos annos, &c., 30. 
Ego sum lux mundi, 56, 64. 
Ego sum lux m. via Veritas et vita, 65. 
Ego sum via Veritas et vita, 59, 62, 66, 

Et livore eius sanati sumus, 77. 

Fecit mihi magna qui potens est, 62. 
Figura espressa substantiae Patris, 64. 

Hie est Filius meus dilectus ipsum 
audite, 64. 

Ich bin das Lemlein das der Welt Sund 

tregt, 70. 
lesus Christus Deus^Dei Filius, &c., 12. 
lesus Christus Salvator mundi, 22. 
lesus Liberator et Salvator, 64. 
lesus Nazarenus Rex ludeorum, 59. 
IHS XPC Deus et homo lapis angularis, 

&c., 23. 
IHS XPC Salvator mundi, 23. 
IHS XPE Salvator mundi, 20. 
IHS XPS, 75. 
lUuminare Hierusalem, 56. 
Imago Cesaris, 113. 

Impinguasti in oleo caput meum, &c., 76. 

Inquietu. est cor meum, &c., 23. 
I.N.R.I., 13. 
lo. Ant. R.M.F., 56. 
loan. Cavinus Pa., 64. 
loanes Cavin., 64. 

Mun. R.P. Vienn., 73. 

Nimant kumpt zu dem Vater dan durch 
Mich, 70. 

Omnia sursum tracta sunt, 64. 
Opus Matthaei Pastii Veronensis, 12. 
Os non comminuetis ex eo, 51. 

Paulus Apostolus vas electionis, 20, 22. 
Paulus Doctor Gentium, 24. 
Paulus raptus in Paradisum, &c., 24, 
Philipi opus, 13. 
Pius V, P.M., 56. 
Porus consilii filius, 64. 
Presentes figure ad similitudinem 
Domini Ihesu, &c., 16. 



Quia precium sanguinis est, no. 

Regina Caeli, 61. 

Respice in faciem Chris ti tui, &c., 13. 

'Poaiof, no, 112. 

'Pobiov, 105, inf. 

Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis, &c.. 
Viva Dei fades et Salvatoris imago, 13. 

Wie di Slang so Mose erhecht, &c., 

XPS Rex venit in pace et Deus homo 
factus est, 43, 73. 75- 

Salvator mundi, 61. 

Salvator mundi Christi miserer., 73 f. 

Sigismundus Abbas in Ebersperg, 75. 

Sine ipso factum est nichil, 65 . 

So bin ich das Kindt der Verderbnus und YHS, 45. 

der Sunden, &c., 70. YHS XPS optimus maximus salvum me 

fac, 45. 
Tu es Christus Filius Dei vivi, &c., 20. YHS XPC Salvator mundi, 16. 

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80 (Lecheruth Yerushalem) ab^y nnn^ 

49 'n MB'y m ,^n mxi p\h^2 hi i?D n^tw 

51, 116 "H '•iB'y DI ^<D^N1 ni^cra ^n lijo h'cd 

78 (shekel Israel) bt<'^^•' bp'^ 

48 f. V^^N 
50,67 1::^ N 

79 (hatsi ha-shekel) bp'^n "rtn 

79 (Yerushalayim ha-kedoshah) 
79 (Yerushalem kedoshah) nyip ahm'T 

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